BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – A school teacher in Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, Mr Suleiman Abdul, has vowed that members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) will surely abandon Governor Godwin Obaseki, who not only reduced teachers in the state to beggars by refusing them their entitled welfare.
Abdul pointedly declared that “this is payback time” for Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 19 governorship election.
These were contained in an open letter to Governor Obaseki, in which Abdul said he was embarking on the enterprise on behalf of members of the State Chapter of the NUT whom he claimed had decided to pay Obaseki back “in his own coin”.
Abdul cited several reasons for the decision to dump Obaseki on Election Day, among which are abandoning the welfare of teachers and not employing more teachers into the school system after so many teachers retired.
The letter reads in part; “For the sake of history, for the sake of Edolites, for the sake of humanity, I write you this open letter from the inner depth of my heart.
“Different professional bodies and individuals have written you open letters, stating the current mess on all facets we find ourselves in Edo State; yet, you haven’t responded (and, more importantly, neither has your Investigative Committee).
“Well, this is an open letter on behalf of teachers in the employ of the Edo State Government. Sir, we are waiting for you at the polls. We have unequivocally decided to pay you back in the same coin which you paid us with.”
The teacher asked governor to recall his initiative, which he launched and erroneously informed the populace that 75 % of the state’s schools would now deploy digital teaching tools under the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme.
Abdul continued; “We were enthusiastic when you flagged this initiative off but, Sir, between you and every single Edo citizen, you know that is a big fallacy.
“We do not even have functional schools any more, not to talk of bogus claims of deploying digital technology in teaching our students.
“Our schools are dilapidated and falling apart with leaking roofs; yet, you claim that our schools enjoy the best of technology.
“Your Excellency, you decided to employ over a thousand aides for the purpose of your re-election and have decided to neglect us, the teachers, who provide the power of education to our today’s youth, thereby creating the possibility of a better future.
“Your Excellency, you abandoned our welfare and have refused to employ more teachers after you retired our hardworking teachers under trumped-up excuses,” he stressed.
Abdul cautioned against sweeping under the carpet what he described as “the monumental scam” going on in SUBEB, stressing that “as we speak, concerted efforts are ongoing to petition the Joan Oviawe board fraught with multiple fraud and irregularities.”
In his words; “We must ensure that her financial crimes are meted with the required justice it deserves.”
Abdul also accused the governor of “divide and scatter” tactics towards his political family manifested in his politicization of the NUT, saying that Obaseki’s penchant for courting only a few to the detriment of the larger masses would be his undoing.
He further said; “Inadequate funding, poor and inadequate infrastructure, poor policy implementation, frequent closure of schools, lack of adequate qualified teachers, examination malpractices and corruption are the present bane of our educational system in Edo State.
“Yet, you went to Abuja to purchase an NUT award and celebrated it with a ceremony at Eagle Square that only reminds us of an Independence Day Parade on which huge budget was spent.
According to Abdul; “We have decided to return you to wherever you came from with our votes (on September 19). Like earlier stated, let this serve as a message that Edo teachers say no to your retrogressive policies.”