Workers on Wednesday shut down Kaduna to protest the sack of 21,000 primary school teachers by the Kaduna State Government.
Hundreds of civil servants led by President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, marched to the House of Assembly to register their protest. Students and teachers also joined them.
The NLC president said the competency test used as excuse to sack the teachers lacked credibility and was unacceptable.
“It was a smokescreen to just sack workers,’’ he said, adding that legitimate institutions mandated to organise such examinations were ignored by the government. “Teaching is a profession in Nigeria, we have teacher training institutions and Teachers Registration Council, why are they not the ones conducting the test?
“This is because they have sinister motives; that is why they didn’t use those institutions. “They are doing this just to sack and reduce workers and we will not accept that,’’ the NLC president said. “Any exercise built on faulty ground cannot stand; this is our position,’’ he stressed. Wabba alleged that the state government also plans to sack 15,000 core civil services and 5,000 local government workers. “By putting all together and their families, up to one million people will be affected by the sack. We will not accept that.
“Therefore we will stand against this exercise until justice is done,’’ he said. The NLC president told workers in the state to unite and confront the situation and save themselves from “this agony.’’ Meanwhile, Northern Coordinator, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Bulama Abisu, has also condemned the sack of the teachers. Abisu who led NUT executive members from the 19 northern states on solidarity visit to the state, called on President Muhammad Buhari to intervene.
“Teachers get the least salary in most states in the north, even the meager salary is not paid as when due with huge number of teachers still being owed by the government.
“The governors are moving from holding salaries to sacking teachers on the claim of incompetency when it is the same government that employed the teachers,’’ Abisu said.