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February 27, 2024
You are currently viewing Strike: FCT primary school teachers’ demands not feasible – ALGON
Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi

Strike: FCT primary school teachers’ demands not feasible – ALGON

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By Philip Yatai

The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), says the demands of the striking primary school teachers in the FCT are not feasible.

Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi, the National Chairman of the association and Chairman, Abaji Area Council, FCT, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.

NAN reports that the FCT Wing of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in a communique issued on Wednesday directed all primary school teachers in the FCT to begin an indefinite strike from Thursday.

The strike action, according to the communique, followed the failure of the six Area Councils’ Chairmen to pay the teachers’ 40 per cent peculiar and other outstanding allowances.

The communique was jointly signed by Mr Stephen Knabayi, Ms Margaret Jethro and Mr Haruna Samson, Chairman, Secretary and Publicity Secretary, respectively.

The teachers claimed that they had earlier given the six Area councils’ chairmen a seven-day ultimatum to pay the 40 per cent peculiar and other allowances owed them.

They alleged that throughout the period of the ultimatum, the area council chairmen neither acknowledged receipt of the letters nor invited the union for dialogue nor attended to any of their concerns.

The concerns of the teachers include non-payment of 25 months arrears of the 2019 approved national minimum wage, non-release of some promotion letters to beneficiaries and non-implementation of released promotion letters.

Other issues are nonpayment of promotion arrears, non-upgrading of concerned teachers, non-implementation of salaries for upgraded teachers and non-implementation of annual salary increments in some councils.

There is also the issue of non-compliance with the agreement on payments of the backlog of teachers’ entitlement amongst others.

They explained that the strike was their last option, having exhausted all available avenues to get their demands met.

Reacting to the development, Abdullahi told NAN that what the teachers were requesting were not feasible, adding that contrary to their claims, he had met with the NUT leadership on Saturday and Sunday.

“I met with the NUT leadership twice.

“I met with the Chairman on Saturday evening and asked him to arrange a meeting with his members of the Executives which I attended in their Head Office at Gwagwalada.

“I pleaded with them, and we are still pleading with them to reconsider their action.  What they are requesting is not feasible,” he said.

The chairman stressed the need to join hands with the leadership of the NUT to approach the Minister of the FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike for help.

“He just resumed office. We appealed to them to give him at least three months to settle down so that we can approach him with their complaints, but they insisted they have to go on with the strike.

“So, we have no option than to wait for the minister to call on us so we can explain things to him,” Abdullahi said.

When contacted on the matter, Dr Hassan Sule, Director, FCT Universal Basic Education Board, said that the board had not been officially communicated by the NUT that they would embark on an indefinite strike.

Sule, who described education as “fundamental” said: “I have not received any official communication from NUT that they are going to embark on strike.

“When I heard that the primary section did not resume on Monday, I had to call the Chairman of the ALGON and the NUT chairman.

“I think they have a little misunderstanding. Normally if there is going to be a strike, there must be grievances, and there must be communication.

“I cannot say it is a strike because they didn’t write to us that they are going to commence a strike. I have not seen any circular. It is just a communication between NUT and ALGON chairman.”

The director, however, said that he had met with the NUT leadership and the ALGON chairman over the issue and they assured him that the difference would be resolved.

He reiterated the board’s commitment to ensure that the issues were resolved, stressing, “keeping the children at home is more dangerous.” (NAN)

Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani

Philip Daniel Yatai

Principal Correspondent, NAN Abuja
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