This Day (Lagos)

12 November 2012

Nigeria: Oshiomhole, Teachers Differ Over Sack

Just as Governor Adams Oshiomhole official takes Oath of office today as the re-elected governor of Edo State, secondary school teachers under the aegis of "Academic Staff Union Of Secondary School "(ASUSS), have expressed dissatisfaction with the governor over the sack of its erring members, with a threat to boycott the swearing-in ceremony.

But, the governor has explained why he sacked the teachers, drawing reference from the Bible that "he who does not work, does not eat."

The group in a communiqué jointly signed by its Vice-President, Bodrick Ighalo, and Administrative Secretary, Monday Anigala, at the weekend, in Benin City, expressed dismay at the 'military approach' the state government had adopted in punishing the erring teachers, who were recently dismissed by the state government over allegations of 'absenteeism and dereliction of duties'.

The communiqué added that the governor's action remains undemocratic and negates the educational laws of 1980 and the unified teaching service staff regulations of 1973 that governs the working conditionality of teaching employees.

AASUSS also described as embarrassing the recent sack of the recently recruited "five hundred teachers by the state government from service, following allegations of fraud in the recruitment process, which it noted that though there was a problem, it was not caused by the employees who are now at the receiving end.

Collaborating Ighalo's argument, Anigala urged the state government to withdraw all the sack letters and sanctions issued to the teachers in the state, stressing that failure to adhere to their demands may result in their inability to guarantee the conduct of the forth coming first term examination across the state.

Meanwhile, Oshiomhole while speaking at an Inter-denominational Service organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for him in Benin City, said he prayed to God everyday to have the courage to do the right thing for the people of the state.

Oshiomhole explained that all the beautiful schools been experienced today would have come to naught if the teachers were in Onitsh,a when they were supposed to be in the classroom.

"I worry about the future of our state. If we must have a work force that would produce men and women who have the capacity and the skill to contribute to the growth and development of Nigeria we must pay maximum attention to access, quality of public schools with teachers that are ready to teach and impact knowledge in an environment is enabling," the governor noted.

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