By Ubon Ekanem, Calabar
Making good their threat to publicly protest alleged brutality by officers of the State Security Service (SSS), teachers at the Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Calabar on Tuesday staged a peaceful march to the Cross River House of Assembly.
Coming under the aegis of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Cross River State chapter, the Teachers said they were in the assembly to register their grievances over the February 2 event that saw some of their colleagues being assaulted by the DSS officials.
Security operatives said to be from the DSS last Thursday reportedly invaded the College to brutalize some teachers for allegedly meting out corporal punishment on a Senior Secondary student.
Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved teachers, State Chairman of TUC, Clarkson Out, said their mission to the Cross River House of Assembly (CRHA) was to call for justice and demand a thorough investigation be conducted on the matter.
According to Otu, “We are here to register our grievances over the invasion of FGGC Calabar on February 2, 2017 by officials of DSS, where they flogged a teacher before his students. And when other teachers demanded to know why, they were beaten thoroughly including a Vice Principal of the school.”
The TUC chairman, who was received by Clerk of the Assembly, Elder Bassey Ekpenyong, said, “The DSS operatives also shot sporadically into the air and caused serious commotion in the school premises.” Pleading that the matter should not be swept under the carpet, Comrade Otu said, “We have come to demand for a thorough investigation of the matter by the authorities and the culprits brought book.”
The aggrieved teachers thereafter submitted their protest letter to the Speaker through the Clerk of the House. Ekpenyong, who praised the Congress for the peaceful protest, described the alleged DSS action against the teachers as unfortunate.
Insisting that teachers must be treated with dignity given their importance in the training of ‘who is who’ in society today, the Clerk assured them that all necessary measures would be taken to “ensure that justice is done in this case. We will ensure that nothing but justice is done.”
The TUC chairman, who said a teacher was beaten for disciplining his student, hinted that the school has already indicated its intention to drag the DSS to court over the alleged attack. Forefront correspondent reports some placards displayed by the protesters carried inscriptions such as: “Enough is enough`’; “We say no to DSS tyranny”; “No more oppression from DSS”: “We demand justice”; “All we are saying, give us justice”; and “Stop this unwarranted oppression”; among others.