By Nosa Akenzua, Benin
The rift over allegedly unpaid Edo state teachers’ allowances deepened on Monday with activities paralysed in public schools on the orders of authorities of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, across the state.
The union had, few weeks ago, issued a 21-day ultimatum to the state government on its plan to embark on an indefinite strike action over its allegedly unpaid entitlements. The ultimatum would appear to have been ignored when the secretary to the state government (SSG), Mr Osarodion Ogie, issued a counter notice that the state government was not owing the teachers’ allowances, warning that any strike action by the NUT would be tantamount to absence from work and would be met with the “no work, no pay” policy.
Following this, the NUT, through one Paul Osayande, issued a fresh statement on Wednesday directing all primary school teachers in the state to shun the state government’s February 1, 2021 resumption date and accused the state government of “not demonstrating any reasonable commitment to resolve the issues presented to it and unanimously agreed.”
Investigation revealed that virtually all the schools in Benin City remained closed on a verification visit by Orient Daily. It was also observed at Idia College, around Iyaro in Benin City, that students who insisted on resuming schooling were turned back at the gate of the school. Nobody within the school was willing to speak except the gateman who said that “no school yet; go home.”