Nigeria Union of Teachers was a noble union since 1930. Many of the activities of teachers have been characterized by respect and honor despite the low pay attached to the noble job.
Teachers under this union organise their elections of who will represent them. Those to be chosen are normally men and women of integrity. A tenure of four years for both national, state and local branches. These elections are characterized by funfare and ceremonies among seminars and lectures. This period showcases the academic professionals who are well trained both morally and academically.
Today, it is a pity that things have fallen apart. Good teachers are retiring. Secondary teachers are leaving the NUT to form their own association. Poverty is raging high in the primary sector. Percentage payments have rendered some shameless cheaters to house boys and praise singers to politicians. Those who claimed to be educated and have taught many of these politicians have turned around to be erand boys for their former pupils because of cash or favour. So sad.
In kogi state, the branch selection was held across the 21 branches. The election was initially scheduled to hold in June but because of the state wings shady deal or agenda had to collude with the state Algon to postpone the election. That period the agenda teachers saw the plans of each local government caretakers or chairmen to lord over each branch , their candidates. They wanted teachers who will fight for government. Teachers who are political thugs that will maintain low percentage payment that has been in existence for over four years. They want cheaters/teachers of low morale and financial standings that cannot and will not challenge the local governments, when the autonomy is finally granted the local governments.
To this end, the selection which has never been the culture of supposed to be disciplined teachers were enforced on them like NULGE selection. On July 27, many local governments resisted the attempt to select for them but wanted teachers of their choices. However, these politicians used their offices to halt the already peaceful and orderly election conducted by some state officials. Some local governments danced to their tune by affirming their political candidates and avoiding normal elections.
Good enough, some eight local branches stood on their legs that election must hold. Knowing well that these branches mean business, the government used vigilantes and thugs to disrupt Lokoja and some branches. In some areas, they used guns to scare teachers away.
The outgoing chairmen were used to perpetuate these acts with the full support of the state chairman.
Now, the branches affected in their usual inconclusive elections are Lokoja, Yagba east, Idah, Adavi, Ogori/Magongo, Olamaboro, and Igalmela branches.
Presently, they are looking for ways of choosing their so call government candidates to be caretaker committees. They even brag that those members will spend unchallenged four years in office.
Teachers are advising the NATIONAL NUT to wade into this impunity in Kogi state. If they want to still maintain the few teachers in the union, these principal actors and politicians should be called to order.
For sanity to reign, the whole election should be reconvened. Or the inconclusive election should be done in a neutral ground where these gun running politicians will have no access to distracting them.
Teachers are great but today, things have fallen apart. The whole world is watching Kogi NUT.
CONCERNED TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS.