Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State on Wednesday recommended the suspension of 42 primary school teachers for allegedly “absconding” from their duty posts for two years in Gamboru Ngala local government area in the state.
Mr Umara, a university professor, made this known during the Democracy Day celebration at the Ramat Square in Maiduguri, the state capital.
He said during his tour of primary schools in Gamboru Ngala, he discovered that 62 teachers were registered in the nominal role. Whereas, only eleven of them were present.
“To my dismay, the headmaster said he has had only 11 teachers in the school in the last two years.
“This is very obnoxious and I have directed the suspension of the 42 teachers who were not on ground,” he said.
He said that he would not condone the culture of absenteeism, indolence, indiscipline and nepotism in the public service noting that prudent management of public funds, transparency and accountability must be the guiding principles.
Mr Zulum said proactive modalities would be put in place toward creating an institutional framework for basic service delivery, to address the high public expectations aimed at strengthening the confidence of the people of the system.
“We will address the issues of security, poverty, unemployment, quality education, infrastructure, health services among other things that will positively impact our lives. All these will invariably depend on good governance in a democracy,” he said.
In his reaction, the Borno Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Jubril Muhammed said the teachers’ action was not a deliberate act.
Mr Muhammed disclosed that teachers in the state usually worked on a two- week shifts agreement.
“The first set of teachers were deployed to liberated councils while those that are substituting them every two weeks are working in the Internally Displaced camps of the LGAs in the city of Maiduguri.
“It is not possible for all the teachers to be on the ground at the same time because of the current challenges. We also lack adequate teachers to cater for the educational services in both the LGAs and IDPs camps at the same time.
“Also, most of our teachers have lost everything including their means of livelihood, citing lack of accommodation in the LGAs as another challenge,” he said.
The chairman urged the governor to temper justice with mercy on his decision.