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UniAbuja Staff School teacher embarks on hunger strike

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
A teacher with the University of Abuja Secondary School, Mr. Solo Anuli Obiagwu embarked on hunger strike for five days over the plight of teachers in the university.

L-R: Emeka Oparah, Director, Corporate Communications & CSR, Airtel Nigeria; Kudirat Kasali, Head Mistress, Oremeji Primary School II, Ajegunle; and Chioma Okolie, CSR Lead, Airtel Nigeria, during the presentation of Airtel Outstanding Contribution to Education Award to the head mistress at Airtel Teachers training held in its adopted school, Oremeji Primary School in commemoration of World Teachers Day on today, Thursday, 5th October, 2017

Obiagwu, who claimed he was being owed for eleven months by the university, said that teachers in the staff school have been subjected to serious emotional trauma.

Though, the hunger striking teacher who sat beside a bush within the duration of the exercise refused to talk to anybody, he listed the reasons for his action in a paper placed beside him.

According to him, the strike started from 6am to 4pm from 13th November to 17th November, 2017.

Giving reasons for his action, he said, it was “in protest against victimization of Secondary School teachers at the University of Abuja Secondary School.”

Also on the list of reasons include “Impunity and insensitivity. Emotional stabbing of teachers and students. Silencing of unions. Attempt by UniAbuja management to cripple me. Eleven months without salary.”

Recall that the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, had dragged the Federal Government to the National Industrial Court, NIC, for directing Vice Chancellors of Universities to delete names of teachers in staff schools from the payroll contrary to the 2009 agreement government entered into with the union.

But December last year after a prolonged legal tussle, the Industrial Court gave judgement against the Federal Government and ordered that the teachers who were disengaged by the Vice Chancellors should be reinstated.

National President of SSANU, Comrade Samson Chijioke Ugwoke had lamented that the action of government three about two thousand teachers into labour market.

Ugwoke further wondered why the Federal Government should delay in the recalling of the disengaged teachers who were subjected to hardship by the government action.

Although some Universities had complied with the judgement of the Industrial Court, the University of Abuja appeared not willing to recall the teachers.

Besides, the university management has been having a running battle with SSANU and had even sacked the Chairman and Secretary of the union in the university.

All entreaties by SSANU to the University management went into deaf ears as the Vice Chancellor has remained adamant while the dismissed staff continue to face hardships.


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