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Teachers’ strike frustrates reopening of primary schools in Edo

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Obaseki. Photo: TWITTER/GODWINOBASEKI

Court restrains NUT from embarking on industrial action

Public primary school teachers under the auspice of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), yesterday, defied the Edo State Government’s directive to resume academic activities.

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The primary school teachers had on January 18, 2021, declared an indefinite strike to protest against the state government’s non-implementation of its 10-point demands.

In a statement issued by Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, on Thursday, January 28, he had threatened forfeiture of salaries and enforcement of ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy on the teachers if they failed to resume.

But in a statement, the NUT insisted that it would continue to push for its demands and advised parents to keep their children and wards away from public primary school since its members were on strike.

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A visit to some public primary schools in Benin City showed that academic activities were halted following the NUT strike action.

Speaking with newsmen, the Assistant Secretary-General of NUT, Edo State, Moni Mike Modesty Itua, described the strike as a total across the 18 council areas.

Itua, who commended teachers for their compliance, urged them to remain resolute in their fight for freedom until the union directed otherwise and expressed hope that with the level of compliance, the state government might opt for dialogue with the NUT leadership.

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The Guardian learnt that public primary schools in Auchi, Owan East, Ovia South- West, Ovia North-East councils and other parts of the state complied with the NUT strike directive, as most schools failed to resume.

But the state government deployed some staff members of local government education authority and State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to teach in schools, which had few pupils in attendance.

MEANWHILE, the National Industrial Court (NIC) sitting at the Benin Judicial Division, yesterday, restrained the NUT from proceeding on any strike in Edo primary schools.

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Justice A. A. Adewemimo, gave the order after listening to submissions of the Edo state’s Solicitor-General, Oluwole Iyamu (SAN).

The Edo State Government and the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) are applicants in the case marked No. NICN/BEN/04/2021.

The defendants in the suit are Chairman, Edo State NUT, Pius O. Okhuleliegbe, Assistant Secretary General, NUT, Itua, individually and on behalf of NUT members in the state.

Delivering her ruling, the Justice Adewemimo restrained the officers either acting through themselves, their agents or privies from embarking on strike pending the hearing and determination of the motion on Tuesday, February 9, 2021.

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