Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has said over 600 teachers were killed by islamist Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast.
NUT’s National President Michael Olukoya spoke in Ado Ekiti yesterday at the celebration of this year’s World Teachers’ Day. He called on federal and state governments to tighten security in schools to prevent further attacks.
Olukoya said 19,000 teachers were among Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Northeast ravaged by insurgency.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by a senior NUT official, Samson Akinlade, Olukoya urged the Federal Government to rescue the Chibok schoolgirls abducted by the insurgents since April 2014.
Olukoya said: ”The memory of the Chibok girls and thousands of others whose potential and lives have been truncated , remains traumatic and demoralising.
“It is on record that over 600 teachers lost their lives to the terror attacks. These include 308 in Borno, 75 on Adamawa, 18 in Yobe, 25 in Kaduna, 120 in Plateau, 63 in Kano and 2 in Gombe States.
“This is in addition to 19,000 teachers displaced and suffering great losses due to barbaric activities of the insurgents.”
Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose gave out brand new Kia Soul cars to the best teachers in primary and secondary schools. Headmaster-Generals for primary schools was appointed and given brand new cars.
Smiling home with the cars are the newly-appointed Headmaster General, Mrs. Rachel Talabi; the Best Primary School Teacher, Mrs. Mary Akindele and the Best Secondary School Teacher, Mr. Ife Adeola.
Three Tutor-Generals appointed for each senatorial district are Mr. Oluwole Awolusi (Ekiti North), Mr. Rufus Olufarati (Ekiti Central) and Mrs. Monisola Olonisakin (Ekiti South).
Fayose said: “I know the value of your votes and what you represent. I won’t joke with your interest. I decided that the programme is shown live to show the strength of our teachers and their support for us.
“The issues raised are being addressed and you know our financial situation and within the limit of our finances we will address them. In 2003, we were 35th in public examinations conducted by WAEC and NECO and we moved to the eighth and seventh positions.
“Though, I applied for N29.6 billion bailout from the CBN, which would have covered payment for all salaries, allowances and pension. But only N9.1b was approved . This is not political. But it is only what I get that I can share”, he clarified.
“If I did not leave at that time, we would have been No. 1. We have held education summit and we want to make Ekiti State a force to be reckoned with in the country.This year we are working hard and I want to assure you we will get there,” he said.
Eminent lawyer and Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), urged teachers to be more committed to their duty to justify the support given them by the state government.
“What I saw today showed that truly Fayose is a friend of teachers. If I see it on television, I won’t be happy. I thank the governor that he asked me to come.
“I am a teacher too and it will be 70 years next January that I started teaching. I thank the governor for bringing you all together here to celebrate yourselves,” he said.
The State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Mr Kayode Akosile, said the coming of Fayose had restored hope in teachers.
Akosile stressed that they were discouraged by some policies of the previous administration. He promised the support and cooperation of teachers to the government.