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Why we’ll embark on strike-NUT

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From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja

Following the dismissal of 2,357 teachers by Governor Nasir el-Rufai’ in Kaduna State recently, the national leadership of the Nigerian Union of Teachers  (NUT) has threaten to embark on strike if the action is not reversed immediately.

NUT Deputy President, Kelvin Nwankwo, disclosed this after the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, Wednesday in Abuja.

The Kaduna State Government, last weekend announced the sack of 2,357 including the National President of NUT,Comrade Audu Titus Amba, allegedly for failing competency and failing to appear for the test.

But the union said its president, did not fail the test, insisting that the whole concept of competency test which the Kaduna State Government relied on to sack 2,357 teachers in the state last week was “designed to achieve its inglorious aim of casualization of the teaching profession in Kaduna State.”

NUT declared the action of el-Rufai as null and void and threatened to declare strike across the country in solidarity with teachers in Kaduna if the state government fail to act açcording to its demand.

“You know our members are well dedicated people. This is the only union that does not have one illiterate among us. Remember that because of the competency test issue, we went to court. We are law abiding citizens and we felt that is the only way we can resolve this. But if it becomes necessary that we must go on strike,it would be a nation-wide strike

“The very concept of competency test is an aberration and absurd having regards to the fact that the teachers in Kaduna State have prior to their recruitment in the state public service, attended schools and institutions statutorily saddled with the responsibility of teacher education and these institutions have certified them to be competent, fit and proper to be teachers.

“In addition, the same Kaduna State Government had subjected the teachers to scrutiny and test to ensure their suitability or otherwise for employment as teachers before they were recruited by it.”

“It is in the context of the above that the whole concept of a competency test which is only peculiar to Kaduna State is akin to a cocktail of absurdities and leaves a sour taste in the mouth, thereby validating the position of NUT that the intentions of the Kaduna State Government on this issue is everything but altruistic.

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 “Kaduna State is the second most indebted state in Nigeria and the state government is on a free roller coaster move to satisfy the conditionalities handed down to it by its creditors, which normally includes down sizing of the public service without even the remotest regards to our peculiar circumstances.”

“The whole concept of competency test was designed by the Kaduna State Government to achieve its inglorious aim of casualization of the teaching profession in Kaduna State.

“Otherwise, how else can one attempt a rationalization of the fact that the same Kaduna State Government in the year 2018 dismissed/retired in one swoop 21,780 teachers purportedly for not passing its unilaterally and arbitrarily administered competency test and purportedly in replacement thereof recruited about 20,000 new teachers, who according to it were subjected to vigorous test and confirmed to be competent before they were recruited into the Kaduna State Public Service.

“The manifest intention of the Kaduna State Government is to prey on the rather unfortunate existing non employment status of our teeming school leavers by recruiting them as teachers only to subsequently subject them to the raw deal it subjected the purported 20,000 teachers, thereby achieving its aim of casualization of the teaching profession in Kaduna State. “

“He was not dismissed then for failure to write the competency test. The question that readily agitates the mind in the circumstance is, what has changed in 2021/2022?

“It is also rather very sad and curious that the dismissal letter relative to the NUT President was in the Public domain via the social media even when it has not been served on him.

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“The intention clearly is to intimidate the NUT President and embarrass the Teachers in Nigeria. This like other anti labour and people policies of the Kaduna State Government has failed on arrival. We got news for His Excellency Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai and his co-travelers to wit:- power is transient,” the union stated.

“NUT therefore, reaffirmed its commitment to stand with its revered President, Comrade Audu Titus Amba and all the teachers in Kaduna State, who have fallen victim of the anti-labour policies in Kaduna State and which policies have defied all logic and lacking in milk of human kindness,”it further said. NUT stated.

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