8 January 2018
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has threatened to dismiss any teacher who is absent from duty ahead of a strike by the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, from Monday, January 8, 2018 over the state government’s insistence to sack teachers who failed its competency test.
The government also warned that it was ready to prosecute officials of NUT for unlawful procession and destruction of government properties.
A statement issued by the Governor’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, on Sunday stated that “It has come to the notice of the Kaduna State Government that the state branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has declared an indefinite strike, pointing out that the strike is an illegal action, and will not achieve its aim of derailing the education reforms being implemented by the government.”
Arunwan warned that: “the Kaduna State Government is not available to be blackmailed into knowingly retaining unqualified teachers. Neither will it mortgage the future of two million primary school pupils because failed teachers are shamelessly mobilizing with sentiment.’
Besides, he remarked that “at the invitation of the Federal Ministry of Labour, the Kaduna State Government twice met in Abuja with the officials of the NLC and the NUT. Governor Nasir El-Rufai personally led the state delegation to the first meeting.”
According to him, during these interactions, the state made it clear that as an employer, it has every right to determine who its employees are or can be, and the minimum qualifications they must possess.
“Government wishes to inform the public that it has instructed its Education administrators to open registers in all its schools, starting from Monday, January 8, 2018. Any teacher that is absent from work will be treated with the consequences that pertain to absconding from duty under the Public Service Rules.
“There can be no doubt that KDSG will take firm and decisive disciplinary action against personnel who absent themselves from duty, including dismissal from service.”
Kaduna NUT had raised an alarm that the state is making desperate efforts to frustrate the interlocutory injunction stopping the sack of teachers in Kaduna State pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Meanwhile, in a press release signed by the Kaduna NUT chapter, Comrade Audu T. Amba and his Secretary, Adamu Ango, they said the union had earlier served two weeks notice ultimatum, before commencing on indefinite strike.
The union added that they had earlier dragged governor El-rufai to court, “the strike was predicated on the fact that the Kaduna State government was hell bent on dismissing /disengaging teachers in the public primary schools of Kaduna State based on the competency test conducted by the government.”