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NUT strike: Yar’Adua’s govt insensitive, says Balarabe Musa

Posted by By Daniel Alabrah on 2008/07/07 | Views: 2602 |

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NUT strike: Yar’Adua’s govt insensitive, says Balarabe Musa


Former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, has lashed out at the President Umaru Yar’Adua administration over the ongoing nationwide strike by teachers in public schools. He described the government as insensitive to the plight of the teachers whose demand he said was in order.

• Afenifere okays picketing of private schools

Former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, has lashed out at the President Umaru Yar’Adua administration over the ongoing nationwide strike by teachers in public schools. He described the government as insensitive to the plight of the teachers whose demand he said was in order.

The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), on Monday, embarked on an indefinite strike action after an earlier three-day warning strike to press home its demand for improved conditions of service.

The teachers have vowed not to return to the classrooms until the government implemented the Teachers Salary Structure (TSS) approved by the National Council on Education headed by the Minister of Education and appropriated in the 2008 budget.

Musa, in a telephone interview with Sunday Sun, berated the government’s dilly-dallying over the teachers’ welfare.
"The Yar’Adua government is insensitive. It is behaving like its predecessor, the (Olusegun) Obasanjo administration, which dealt very harshly with the teachers.
"I’m shocked that the government allowed the teachers to go on strike without addressing their demands. They (teachers) have been patient enough and there is no reason for the government not to pay their claims as demanded," the veteran politician and chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) said.

He advised the government to end the strike immediately by meeting the demands of the teachers.
In a similar vein, the apex Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, said the strike is an indictment on the Yar’Adua administration.
The group’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin, told Sunday Sun on telephone that it is unthinkable that a government headed by a graduate from a Nigerian university would allow the monumental rot in the educational system to fester.

"The strike by the teachers is an indictment on the Yar’Adua government. Is it not ironical that Yar’Adua, who graduated from a Nigerian university, has not shown any inclination towards addressing the problems in the educational system?" Odumakin wondered.
He said the government must end the strike immediately otherwise Labour should mobilize to picket private schools, which, according to him, are attended by the children of government officials.
"We are surprised that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) cannot find a solution to the teachers strike just as we are alarmed that the government has warned against picketing of private schools because their children are there. It is not bothered that the closure of public schools has resulted in children roaming the streets.

"Afenifere backs the use of picketing by Labour because the United Nations allows it during strikes. It is becoming clearer that the only language this government understands is force," he said.
"The other day, it was reported in the media that under-aged children who use drugs now sniff the stench from the gutters in Kano in order to get high. The failure of the educational system is mostly responsible for such anti-social behaviour," the Afenifere image-maker added.

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