The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Kaduna State on Wednesday, December 26, tackled Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, over the sacking of over twenty-one thousand (21,000) teachers who failed a Primary Four competency test conducted by the Kaduna State government.
The government subsequently advertised for vacant positions of the sacked teachers, and in a bid to prevent this, the NUT sought for the intervention of the National Industrial Court (NIC). Judgement was given in favor of the teachers.
According to THE PUNCH however, in a radio interview on the state-owned Kaduna Media Corporation, El-rufai said the teachers had been sacked before the judgment of the NIC.
The Governor further went ahead to lash out at the leadership of the NUT for patronizing private primary schools, allowing public primary schools in Kaduna State to rot away.
According to him, an investigation carried out indicated that no children of the NUT leaders in Kaduna State was attending public primary schools.
El-Rufai had said, ”My son, Abubakar Sadiq, is four years old now. In the next two years when he is six, whether or not I am the governor of Kaduna State, I will enrol him in a public primary school and I urge other public officials in Kaduna to do the same.”
The NUT chairman in Kaduna, Mr. Audu Amba who spoke during a media briefing, called on the governor to obey the court order.
Quoting the NUT leader, “Our attention has also been drawn to the fact that the Kaduna State Government despite the service of the order of interlocutory injunction on it, is now making frantic and desperate efforts to frustrate the outcome of the suit in court by directing the education secretaries in all local government areas to come over to SUBEB and collect back-dated letters of disengagement from service for onward distribution to teachers in their respective local governments.
“We are appalled by the pronouncement of the governor as aforesaid. Our belief is that the accepted norm in all civilised societies is for the Kaduna State Government to appeal against the decision of the National Industrial Court instead of resorting to an unfounded criticism of same.
“We believe that the rule of law is the bedrock of democracy and any government or institution that refuses to bow to the dictates of the rule of law automatically loses its legitimacy to superintend the affairs of its citizenry.
“We therefore implore and appeal to the conscience of the Kaduna State governor and all its institutions to subordinate themselves to the judicial powers of our law courts as enshrined under section 6a of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which is our organic law from which government at all levels exist and draw their legitimacy.”
Article by Misthura Otubu