By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City
The Edo state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has agreed that the planned peaceful protest by the Esan North-East local government chapter of the union will hold onThursday,December 3,2020.
The peaceful protest slated for Thursday , December 3, 2020 was sequel to the seven- day ultimatum given to the Acting Education Secretary of the council, Oseghale Mary to reverse the deployment and demolition of one Ikiakhele Agatha, the head teacher of Efandion primary school, Uromi to class teacher by the leadership of the union in Esan North-East council.
Recall that the Esan North- East chapter of the union had in a protest letter to the state chapter and the executive chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), dated November 25, 2020 gave a seven-day ultimatum to one Oseghale Mary, the Acting Education Secretary of the local government to reverse her deployment and demolition of Ikiakhele Agatha, the head teacher f Efandion Primary School, Uromi.
In the petition signed by Oriere Duba, NUT branch chairman and Eyonse Martins, secretary, Esan North-East local government accused the Acting Education Secretary of the council of consistently oppressing, intimidating and harassing of the head teacher in the school while performing her official duty.
Other allegations are, harassment of teachers, illegal collection of fund from head teachers and teachers for submission of documents, extortion from headteachers during the last schools inter-house sports.
The acting Education Secretary was confiscation of the cleaning materials brought by Edo SUBEB for cleaning of schools, non-complete payment of E-Learning data subscription during the covid- 19 pandemic.
She was also accused of unlawful directive to open schools on 29th June, 2020 during covid- 19 pandemic as against the federal government guidelines/ protocols, unnecessary deployment and demolition of Ikiakhele Agatha, head teacher of Efandion primary school, Uromi to classroom teacher among others.
But the state chapter in a statement dated December 2, 2020, signed by Pius Okhueleigbe, chairman, and Moni Mike Modesty, secretary respectively and made available to newsmen in Benin City said the planned protest by the teachers remained irrevocable.
Moni Mike, who said the decision to support the planned protest by teachers in the locality was taken by the state wing standing committee in a meeting held yesterday, however, demanded for the outright removal of the education Secretary of the council.
“The ultimatum given to the acting education secretary of the council to reverse her illegal decision/actions on Comrade Mrs Ikiakhele Agatha is in order judging by the Acting Secretary’s unrepentant penchant for mischiefs.
“That the planned peaceful protest scheduled for Thursday (today) December 3, 2020 by all primary school teachers/heads aimed at ensuring justice for Esan North- East local government area teachers and Ikiakhele Agatha should hold as planned with security agents of government providing protection
“That the 9-point petition against the Acting education secretary, Mrs Oseghale Mary, by the NUT, Esan North- East local government area be thoroughly investigated by Edo State Government”,he said.
He threatened that if the education secretary was not removed after the protest, the entire teachers in the locality will have no option to embark on indefinite strike. End.