Chibok girls: Teachers shutdown schools nationwide


• Protest killing of 173 colleagues

Teachers in public schools nationwide yesterday shutdown schools and joined the ongoing protests for the search and rescue of the over 200 students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, kidnapped April 14, this year.

Apart from protesting the abduction of the schoolgirls by members of the outlawed Boko Haram group, they are also protesting the killing of 173 of their colleagues by the insurgents.

The protest was in compliance with the decision of the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) which had directed teachers across the federation to embark on the exercise to press for the safe release of the abducted schoolgirls.

In Lagos, the teachers gathered at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota, from where they had a procession to the Government House in Alausa, Ikeja.

They also expressed their anger against Governor Babatunde Fashola who they said neglected them for more than three hours when they took their protest letter to his office.

In a letter presented to the governor, the NUT State chairman, Alhaji Adesegun Raheem said education is the bedrock of the civil society and the abduction of Chibok girls as well as the attack on the school system is an attempt to return the nation to the Hobessian state of nature where life was described as ‘brutish, nasty and short’.

In Anambra State, union members also took their protest to the Government House, Awka, where their state chairman, Mr Ifeanyi Ofodile, said Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic and religious differences, should close ranks and solve the challenge.

He said if the insurgents were allowed to succeed, they take the country back by 100 years, stating “We are averse to the injustice and barbaric enterprise of the Boko Haram group. We as parents, teachers and Nigerians are here to say no to the evil perpetrated by them”.

The chairman also said “In the real sense, over 173 teachers have been sacrificed; they are also the unsung heroes of this attacks.”

NUT members in Rivers State converged at the Abonnema Wharf Junction in Diobu, Port Harcourt, and marched through the streets of the metropolis to the Government House to register their protest.

At the Government House, the Chairman of the Rivers State NUT, Comrade Geoffrey Worgu, condemned the abduction of the girls in its entirety. The Chairman said that the teachers were pained that the girls who were abducted last month are still in the forest with their abductors.

Comrade Worgu demanded the unconditional release of the girls saying that “the children are our raw materials, and the abduction of these children has affected our productivity.”

In Bauchi State, placard carrying teachers who were also singing solidarity songs and calling for the release of the abducted girls were led to the Government House by the state chairman, Comrade Danjuma Sale.

He said they embarked on the protest to express their dismay over the abduction of the Chicbok girls.

He added that teachers would, henceforth, not tolerate the continuous killings of teachers and abduction by the Boko Haram insurgents, and urged government to be proactive in tackling the insurgents rather than handling it with levity.

The Chief of staff to Gov­ernor Isa Yuguda, AlhajiAb­dulkardir Ibrahim assured the teachers of government’s commitment and readiness to support every effort that would lead to the rescue of the abducted girls.

He said Yuguda’s admin­istration is worry since the abduction of the girls by the Boko-Haram and commend­ed the teachers for the matu­rity exhibited in organising the solidarity protest.

In the same vein, teachers in public schools Ekiti State led by the State Chairman, KayodeAkosile and Secre­tary, Jamiu Ola-Idris, took off from their state secre­tariat along Iyin Road and dropped a copy of their pro­test letter at the police head­quarters and later walked to the popular Fajuyi Park.

Addressing the gathering, Akosile said it was unaccep­table that over 200 girls had been kidnapped for over a month and nobody is having a clue to their whereabouts.

He said 173 teachers had been killed in Borno State since the Boko Haram insur­gency started.

He called on the Federal Government to expedite steps to bring back the girls safely and reunite them with their families.

Teachers in Delta state were addressed by Gover­nor Emmanuel Uduaghan who enjoined them not to contemplate closing down schools in a bid to register their protest.

He made the call while addressing members of the Delta State wing of NUT, who staged a peaceful pro­test to the Government House, Asaba explaining that closing down schools as a form of protest would amount to playing into the hands of those who were against western education

DrUduaghan told the pro­testing teachers, who car­ried placards with various inscriptions that all efforts were being made by Presi­dent Goodluck Jonathan, the security operatives and international forces to bring back the girls safe and alive.

The Chairman of NUT, Delta State wing, Comrade Jonathan Jerieyigbe had in an address he presented to the governor observed that education remained the bedrock of the society stress­ing that the abduction of the Chibok girls and killing of teachers as a direct attack on the educational system.

“The Boko Haram in ab­ducting the Chibok girls is attempting at stopping our girls from what they are and inhibiting them from what they want to become through education and this is playing God and on this, we say, bring back our girls safe and alive,” the Chair­man said.


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