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NURTW protests death of members on construction sites

By m Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh (Uyo) and Monday Osayande (Asaba)
16 November 2021   |   3:09 am
Worried by road crashes at construction sites in Uyo, members of the state branch of the Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and concerned residents, yesterday

[FILES] NURTW. Photo:Pulse ng

•NUT suspends member for protesting during the burial of Okowa’s father

Worried by road crashes at construction sites in Uyo, members of the state branch of the Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and concerned residents, yesterday, staged a protest, calling on the state government to compel construction firms to imbibe safety standards.

No fewer than four persons were killed in the last two months in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

It was also learned that failure to observe traffic signs and other safety measures while driving across construction sites accounted for some of the accidents.

The crashes, according to the protesters, occurred at night along the Oron Road stretch of the 3rd Ring Road under construction by Hensek Integrated Services Limited (HISL).

It was also gathered that poor visibility made them to ram into roundabouts under construction.

Some of the placards read: “The roads were supposed to relieve pains, but tears are in our eyes,” “The firms should follow standards,” “We are tired of burying people because of road construction.”

One of the protesters, Etim Frank, said: “In all, six vehicles, including a truck and five cars, were involved, with three of the vehicles damaged beyond repairs after hitting the roundabout and somersaulting, killing occupants on the spot.”

IN Delta State, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) allegedly slammed three months suspension on Goodluck Ejezire, a primary school teacher in Isoko South council for participating in a protest the day Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s father was buried.

It was learned that teachers, under the umbrella of Basic Education Staff Association of Nigeria (BESAN), had on February 16, 2021, the same day the governor’s father, Pa Okorie Arthur Okowa, was buried in Ika North East Council of the state, protested, demanding their entitlements.

It was also gathered that Ejezire was slammed with three months suspension about 10 months after the protest, immediately he announced the intention to contest for the position of chairman in the local NUT elections that took place on Monday.

It was further learned that Ejezire’s suspension was “an order from above, which some teachers in the area were not too comfortable with.” 

Ejezire told The Guardian that his suspension was nothing but “illegal, unconstitutional and a witch-hunt,” adding, “I was suspended by the state Chairman of NUT, Titus Okotie, masterminded by the state NUT treasurer, Sunday Eterigho, and others, saying that I took part in a protest organised by teachers across the 25 local government areas in the state under the umbrella of Basic Education Staff Association of Nigeria (BESAN), on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, which coincided with the day the state Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, was burying his late father at Owa-Alero. The protest that was done almost ten months ago, why bring it now that I am contesting for an election? It is just a witch-hunt.”

The state NUT Chairman, Titus Okotie, confirmed the suspension but directed our correspondent to get details from the suspended teacher.

The Guardian finding is that the suspension letter titled, “Involvement In Anti-Union Activities: Suspension From NUT”, was signed by NUT state Secretary, Dan Basime, and dated November 5, 2021.

The letter indicated that Ejezire had been suspended for three months for his alleged involvement in what it called ‘anti-union activities.’
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