By Gina Bella
The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), has threatened to embark on a strike as a result of the series abductions of teachers and students in different parts of the country.
NUT also expressed concerns that besides the six months lock down of schools occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent events of bandit attacks on schools would further affect the 2019/2020 academic calendar to a large extent.
According to a statement signed by its Secretary General, Dr. Mike Ene, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, the Teachers’ Union called for a 24 hour surveillance of all schools, and challenged government at all levels to rise up to the occasion and take up its responsibility of providing adequate security to all educational institutions and the nation at large.
The Union also demanded immediate implementation of the life insurance and hazard allowance promised teachers, by President Muhammadu Buhari in October at this year’s annual Teachers Day celebration.
The statement read: “The wicked and merciless hands of anti education terrorist clinched Mr. Alu Ola Paul a Head teacher with Olagua Primary School Ohordua in Edo State, and Kidnapped him on his way to work on the 1st December, 2020 and released six day later.
“In the same view on the 8th December, 2020, Mrs Gladys Niemogha Belleh and Mrs Blessing Emunefe both of whom are teachers of Ohorhe Sceondary School Effurun in Delta State were kidnapped in their school premises by armed bandits and are yet to be released, thereby throwing both families, students, and the school community into emotional and overall destabilization.
“Similarly, the Night of Friday 11th December, 2020 Government Science Secondary School Kankara in katsina State, was invaded by armed bandits with reports that 333 students are yet to be accounted for as at today, this dastardly act has sent shivers through the spine of other members of the entire school community of Katsina state.
“These incidences are sad reminders of previous ugly events in Chibok and Dapchi, where Bokoharam terrorist had attacked and abducted students creating monumental disruption of school activities and impeding our nations educational growth and advancement while subjecting family members and relatives to unimaginable trauma.
“As a union the NUT will not fold her hands and watch enemies of educational development to threaten the nations educational system to suffocation. As such we wish to remind our government at all levels, of their primary responsibility as enshrined in the constitution which is the security of lives and property of the entire Nigerian citizens.
“Unfortunately it is becoming apparent that government can not provide security and safety of our teachers, students and the educational community across Nigeria. This unfortunate situation must be address without further contemplation.
“In light of these recent developments, the Nigeria Union of Teachers may be compelled to down tools pending when it is safe for our members to teach and guide our pupils and students without fear of abduction by these faceless enemies of educational prosperity of the Nigerian Nation.
“In order not to escalate the disruption of our academic calendar which is in a fragile state as a result of Covid- 19 pandemic. NUT unequivocally call on the Federal, States and Local government to ensure adequate security and 24 hour surveillance around our schools.
“Also the government must begin to consider the implementation of Life Insurance and Hazard Allowance to teachers in our Basic and Senior Secondary Schools as approved by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on the occasion of the World Teachers’ Day 2020.”
The NUT further appealed to all Nigerians to join forces with government and security agencies to provide adequate protection for students, pupils, teachers and the school communities, in order to ensure educational activities were no longer hampered by enemies of the nations educational system who were using schools as soft targets.