ABUJA: Education Advocacy Group Declares Support For Striking Abuja Teachers, Urges Workers to Embark on Strike Against Insecurity in the FCT.




In the ongoing strike action embarked upon by teachers in the FCT, Save Public Education Campaign (SPEC) an education advocacy group, has made their intentions for the support of the ongoing strike action by primary school teachers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The  strike action is due to the non-implementation of a 40 per cent Peculiar Allowance and payment of 25 months of minimum wage arrears, among other issues.

The group advised the striking teachers to bring onboard other workers to join in solidarity until victory is achieved, saying that the intervention of FCT Minister, Bar Nyesom Wike in the previous industrial action had not yielded any positive action.

The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Federal Capital Territory Wing, on January 15 after an emergency meeting of the FCT Wing Standing Committee, asked primary school teachers in the territory to embark on strike.

According to the statement as released by the secretary of the group, Damilola Owot, who regretted that the primary school teachers had earlier embarked on an indefinite strike on 11 September 2023, over the same issue of non-implementation of 40 per cent Peculiar Allowance and payment of 25 months minimum wage arrears.

The statement says, “The union later suspended the strike on 2 October 2023 for six weeks to allow for the resolution of the issues, following the intervention of FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike.

“Mr Wike who has put it in the public that he had set up a six-man committee to look into the issues and recommend solutions which may solve the problem hasn’t done anything even after the reports of the committee have been submitted. Rather, the minister was seen casting blame on the Area Council chairpersons and urged them to be more alive to their duties.

“After the six weeks had elapsed since November 2023, nothing positive has been achieved, even though the committee had submitted its report. The union had no option but to resume the strike on Monday, Jan 15 indefinitely.

“We condemn this non-payment of workers’ entitlements by the Federal Capital Territory Administration.

“For an FCT/Area Council administration with all the revenue generated both from tax and federal government allocation. It is an act of wickedness that teachers who work hard day and night are not being paid their entitlements.

“We welcome the decision of the union on the secondary school teachers of the FCT to join the strike in solidarity from the 22nd of January if the demands of the primary school teachers are not met before 19 January, 2024. We propose that the strike action must also be used to demand adequate security in all area councils because of the continued robbery and kidnapping that has enveloped the FCT.

“For us at Save Public Education Campaign, we hold that the strike should extend beyond the issues of entitlements for teachers and include the demand for better teaching and learning facilities for primary and secondary schools in Abuja. We believe that a demand for adequate funding of public education in Nigeria is as important as life itself now.

“We call on the government to meet all the teachers’ demands and we also call for proper funding of public education at all levels and better pay for all academic workers.

“To win this struggle, a strike of the primary and secondary school teachers might not be enough. There must be an Open solidarity from other education unions within and outside the FCT and all the workers’ unions.

“We call on NLC and TUC to intervene and mobilize workers in solidarity to join this teachers and education struggle. We believe the teachers can win this solidarity and public support through public actions and not only sit-at-home strike actions. Activities like rallies and street protests are also important to inform the public of their demands and expose the irresponsibility of the Government that has kept children at home.