Ekiti salary crisis: Primary School Teachers down tools
By; Oladele Adedayo, Ado-Ekiti.
Primary schools in Ekiti State have been put under lock and keyed as teachers embarked on two-day warning strike over unpaid salaries and entitlements.
Although it was rumoured last week that teachers will commence a warning strike on Monday, February 8,over non-payment of the 2014 Leave Bonus and the outstanding September, 2014 salary, which former Governor of the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi owed them.
Members of the public were shocked at the development believing that the primary schools teachers remain the most trusted support base Governor Ayodele Fayose and that they played prominent roles in the victory he recorded during the keenly contested June 21, 2014 polls.
More confusion arose as members of the Association of Primary Schools Head teachers of Nigeria, maintained through a statement aired on state radio and television that primary school teachers won’t
go on strike or contemplate doing so.
But signal began to manifest at about 7.55am when pupils, who had reported to schools for academic activities on Monday, quickly returned home.
Justifying the strike action which has paralysed academic activities in primary schools, the Ekiti State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teacher (NUT) Chairman,Comrade Samuel Akosile said it was quite disturbing that the allowances under contention were not captured in the bailout released by the federal government to Ekiti recently.
Akosile stated that the agitation for the payment of the entitlements by the state government, which other workers had received, had been on for some time, regretting that the Fayose led government has not treated their demands with fairness.
The NUT boss explained that the fact that the secondary school teachers did not join the strike doesn’t indicate that there is division, saying their rank is intact and that there is no crack within the union.
“This agitation has been on but I pleaded with my people to dialogue first. The governor said he would pay with the bailout but it seems as if we are running out of patience and we have no option than to embark on this strike to press home our demands.
“Though the government is making effort to pay, but it has to look inward for alternative to pay my members if the bailout is not forthcoming because this payment is long, long overdue.
“Government is a continuum and this situation is a product of actions and inactions of the Fayemi’s government which this government inherited and it has to inherit it properly”,he said.
Akosile denied the allegation from the opposition All Progressives Congress APC) that Fayose was using security agencies to hound them over the proposed strike, saying nothing of such happened to any of the members.