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CSOs task Wike to clear five-year salary arrears of teachers in demonstration schools



Coalition of activists in Rivers State, under the aegis of the Rivers Civil Society Organisations (RIVSCO),has appealed to Governor Nyesom Wike to clear five-year unpaid salaries of teachers in demonstration schools or face unending street protests.

The group however, gave one month ultimatum to the State Governor to pay the salaries of 250 affected teachers of Primary and secondary schools of the state-owned tertiary institutions.

The schools include; Ignatius Ajuru University of Education Demonstration Secondary School, Ndele and Seashell Model Primary School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State University International Secondary and Staff Schools Port Harcourt, and Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic Comprehensive Secondary School, Bori.

A statement read yesterday in Port Harcourt by Enefaa Georgewill, Executive member of RIVSCO, noted that Governor Wike had five years ago sanctioned the academic union members of the Schools for allegedly flaunting his ‘No-school-fees’ order of the state government, and had directed that the teachers from the above schools who were collecting school fees from parents when government ordered that no one should pay be delisted from the monthly salary voucher of the state.

Pained by the development, the governor, however, vowed that the government will no longer pay the affected teachers nor take responsibility of their allowances.

However, the directive excluded the non academic staff members of the schools, as they have since been receiving their salaries from the government every month like other civil servants in the state government employment.

Georgewill lamented that all efforts by the affected teachers to appeal to the Governor to forgive them and lift the ban on their salaries has failed .

He urged Governor Wike to tamper justice with mercy and release the teachers monies, saying the CSOs in the State give him (Wike) one month to pay up the arrears or face indefinite protest in the State.

Georgewill said, ” We join the over 250 teachers who are workers of the state government to plead with Governor Wike to revisit the decision on their monthly salaries and pay up their five years unpaid salaries.

“These workers have suffered great hardship and deaths of their members in the period this has been going on, we want to ask the Governor to look back, these are Rivers people,the school fees they allegedly collected were not given to them, they have families, children and spouses, most of them are their family breadwinners, some are widows among others.

“In the light of these, we are giving the government until the middle of March to pay them all the arrears or we call out all groups and members of civil society organizations in the state to the streets to a peaceful demonstration and remain there until he pays the people all that he owe them.”

Speaking also, a representative of Ndle and Seashell staff schools, who craved anonymity confirmed that they have lost at least 11 of their members since the governor’s decision five years now and pleaded with Wike to rescind his decision and pay them their salaries, adding that it is their statutory rights.

He said, “It has been five years now we have been in this battle, we have lost at least 11 teachers since the problem, we lost six people in Ndele demonstration primary school, five in UST and one in Bori polytechnic, we do not want to lose more people, we are qualified teachers, we passed through due process to gain the employment, but today we are being treated badly, our families are suffering, some of our children have dropped out of school, we can no longer feed them, let alone pay school fees, we are appealing to the Governor to retrace his steps and end this fight, it is not good for us, it is not good for him and it is not good for our state.”

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