11 January 2018

Nigeria: Teachers' Sack - Buhari's Support for El-Rufai 'Misinformed' - Shehu Sani

The senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, has described as 'misinformed' President Muhammadu Buhari's support for the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-rufai, over the latter's plan to sack about 21,780 teachers in the state.

President Buhari in November 2017 publicly backed the governor's educational reforms including the decision to sack the teachers who failed the competency test conducted by the state government.

The state government said the reforms are to ensure efficiency of the education sector. It said over 25,000 competent graduates will be employed in a transparent way to replace the sacked teachers.

Reacting to this on Thursday, Mr. Sani said the president's support for the sack indicates 'tyranny' and 'facism' against the workers.

"President Buhari's misinformed support for Elrufai's sack of Kaduna teachers after an illegal and premeditated sack of Kaduna Teachers emboldened tyranny, aided fascism and abetted arbitrariness of the governor against workers in the state," he said.

The lawmaker condemned the decision of the state government to ban a 'peaceful protest' of the workers.

At a press briefing in Kaduna on Wednesday, the spokesperson of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Samuel Aruwan, said security agencies had decided not to allow the protest hold because protesters had attacked the State House of Assembly and destroyed public properties during a similar protest in November last year, also organised by the NLC.

Mr. Sani in a statement he released on Thursday declared support for the protesting workers.

"I wholeheartedly support the rights of Kaduna State teachers and workers to embark on strike and hold peaceful rallies and procession.

"The state government has no constitutional rights to ban peaceful protest or intimidate or blackmail workers using the police.

"Sponsored pro-government protest has been organised on many occasions by the state government and its agents. Why should workers be denied the rights to protest?"

Mr. Sani advised the governor to go after kidnappers and herdsmen instead of the workers.

"Mr El-rufai should order the police to go after Herdsmen and Kidnappers that had made Kaduna State their national headquarters and not after unionists, activists, journalists and perceived critics of his administration. Mr El-rufai, if you are really brave and courageous, go after herdsmen and kidnappers and not workers and teachers," he added.

Despite the announced ban on the rally and the deployment of thousands of security operatives to foil it, the NLC still held the march in Kaduna on Thursday.


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