Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki appears to be insistent on not addressing concerns by the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state.
This is as he vowed that his administration would not negotiate with the leadership of the teachers’ union over their demands.
His stance, the governor explained, was to prevent the derailment of the programmes he had designed for a primary schools in the state.
Governor Obaseki stated made his stand known on Monday at a stakeholders forum organised by the State Universal Basic Education (SUBEB) with the theme “Improving collaboration in the provision of basic education” in Benin City.
He maintained that there was no going back in his quest to improve basic education which he described as the foundation of whatever the people are today.
He said the last strike by primary school teachers was influenced by a segment of the leadership of the NUT he alleged was politicised.
According to the governor, “What we saw the last time were not the teachers, it was part of the leadership of their union that have become political that are playing politics with the lives of our children, we don’t have a problem with the teachers of this state we have problems with a section of the leadership of the union who have decided to politicise the issue and derail what we have started.”
“And I have said that as the governor of Edo State that was popularly elected by Edo people, I am ready to fight with anybody in the state that will jeopardise our mission so I have advised you; that section of the NUT in Edo, we are not going to negotiate all these, we are not going to be intimidated, we are going to fight as long as you want to derail EdoBEST, it is not a threat but I just want to assure you that we have the mandate of the Edo people to move Edo forward. I hear they are still threatening that the strike is not over, I wish them luck and I want you the stakeholders to join us to make sure that the right thing is done,” Obaseki added.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of SUBEB, Dr Joan Oviawe, said she came up with EdoBEST (Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation) to reposition basic education in the state.
Oviawe added that in the last four years through EdoBEST, Edo State had achieved the state with the least number of children out of school, in addition to making Edo State primary schools teachers the best paid in the country with the restoration of all their previously withheld emoluments and plans to recruit 3,000 more teachers in a short while.