The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has responded to the abduction of over 300 students from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, with a danger that if the Federal Government fails to improve safety around schools across the country, its members will be called upon to downgrade tools nationwide.
The strike notice was given by the NUT Secretary-General, Dr. Mike Ene, in a statement released today, Tuesday, December 15.
In part, the sentence reads;
The wicked and merciless hands of anti-education terrorists clinched Mr. Alu Ola Paul a Headteacher with Olagua Primary School Ohordua in Edo State, and Kidnapped him on his way to work on December 1, 2020 and released six days later.
In the same opinion, on December 8, 2020, Mrs. Gladys Niemogha Belleh and Mrs. Blessing Emunefe, both of whom are teachers of Ohorhe Secondary School, Effurun in Delta State, were abducted by armed robbers in their school premises and are yet to be released, throwing emotional and general destabilization on both families, students, and the school community.
Similarly, on the night of Friday 11 December 2020, Kankara Government Science Secondary School in Katsina State was invaded by armed bandits with reports that 333 students are still to be accounted for as today, this dastardly act sent shivers through the spine of other members of the entire Katsina State school community.
The NUT may be compelled to down instruments in the light of these recent developments, until it is safe for our members to teach and direct our pupils and students without fear of abduction by these faceless enemies of the Nigerian nation’s educational prosperity.
The NUT hereby extends our call to all stakeholders to join hands with government and security agencies to provide adequate protection for pupils, students, teachers and school communities to ensure that educational activities are not disrupted by the enemies of the educational system of nations using schools as soft targets.
NUT specifically calls on the federal, state and local government to maintain sufficient security and 24-hour monitoring around our schools in order not to exacerbate the disruption of our academic calendar that is in a precarious state as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic.
The government must also begin to consider the introduction of the Life Insurance and Hazard Allowance as approved by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day 2020 for teachers in our Basic and Senior Secondary Schools.
Our prayers are with the families of the abducted teachers and students as we keep their pledge to the government to ensure their secure release without further delay to be reunited with family members and relatives.
These incidences are sad reminders of previous ugly events in Chibok and Dapchi, where students were assaulted and abducted by Boko Haram terrorists, causing a colossal disruption of school activities and impeding educational growth and development in our nations, while subjecting unprecedented trauma to family members and relatives.
The recent condemnable events of Bandits attack on schools, if not immediately addressed will largely affect the 2019/2020 academic calendar which has already been disrupted by the six-month-long lockdown caused by the COVID – 19 pandemic.
As a union, the NUT will not fold its hands and watch educational growth enemies threaten the education system of the nation with suffocation. As such, we wish to remind our government of its primary duty at all levels, as enshrined in the Constitution, which is the protection of the lives and property of all citizens of Nigeria.
The NUT is bold in demanding that the government resolve these problems and take on its duty to guarantee and enforce this general concept and determination to provide adequate protection for all our educational institutions and the nation as a whole.
Sadly, it is becoming clear that our teachers, students and the educational community across Nigeria can not be supported with protection and security by the government. Without further thought, this terrible circumstance must be resolved.