The leadership of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to declare state of emergency on security in view of the rising cases of killing of innocent Nigerians and kidnappings for ransom, including school children and teachers.
President of NUT president, Comrade Titus Audu Amba, who made the call on Monday at the 2024 Solemn Assembly to officially commence activities of the Union for the year, particularly expressed worry that its members are avoiding classes in many communities in some states because the schools are unsafe, and teachers have become targets of the bandits.
Amba equally called for the implementation of new Teachers’ Professional Salary Structure which was approved by the last administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, with implementation supposed to have commenced in 2023.
He noted that cases of teachers particularly in rural and semi-urban communities being kidnapped and killed in the last few months have sent deep fears on members, thus their decision to take precautions.
NUT President recalled a recent case in Kaduna State where a Principal in one of the public basic schools in one of Birnin Gwari communities was kidnapped alongside his three children.
“Huge millions were demanded for the release of the Principal and his children. I can confirm to you that the man has been killed while he children are still being held captive by the kidnappers.”
He lamented that a report from the Joint Security Forces of Nigeria indicated that 24,816 victims were killed whereas 15,597 were abducted since the beginning of the kidnappings till date.
He said: Nigeria in recent times has recorded unprecedented security challenges such as Boko Haram Terrorist (BHTs) attacks in the North East, Banditry in the North West, Herders, and Farmers clashes in the South East, vandals, and militant gangs, kidnappers in the South West and all the regions as of now.
“In the above-mentioned atrocities, there was a report from the Joint Security Forces of Nigeria that twenty-four thousand, eight hundred and sixteen (24,816) victims were killed whereas fifteen thousand five hundred and ninety seven (15,597) were abducted since the beginning of the kidnappings till date.
“It is therefore my humble plea that the Federal Government declare a state of Emergency as long as the security situation does not improve.
“Government at all levels should do the needful since security is everybody’s business. Nothing can be achieved without security assurance in the country so it is imperative to move all stumbling blocks that are bedeviling our security architecture.
“It is our hope that Federal State, Local Government and all stakeholders in Education should join hands to protect our schools and the education workers in Nigeria,” Amba stated.
Speaking on new salary structure for Nigerian teachers, NUT President criticised the Federal for not accommodating money for payment of teachers the new salary structure in the 2024 budget, vowing to continue to push for its implementation.
He urged the federal and state governments to prioritize the welfare of teachers while calling for constitutional Amendments on the funding of primary and Secondary Education to be placed on First Line charge in the revenue allocation in the country.
According to him, when enacted into law, it will go a long way to address the issue of irregular salary payment of teachers across the states of the federation.
He assured the teachers that the Union is vigorously pushing the domestication of law of 65 years of age and 40 years of service that was enacted in 2022.
He added: “The NUT is unhappy with the economic situation in the country, and the free fall of the Naira. We are, therefore, demanding that Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) act fast to contain the rising inflation.
“In addition to that, we are closely monitoring the activities of the new National Committee on Minimum Wage. We won’t hesitate to provide updates as regards on the implementation and amount agreed as new minimum wage.“
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