The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) on Thursday appealed to the Ogun State government to reinstate its members sacked or suspended following a workers’ strike last month.
The appeal came barely 24 hours after the organised labour in the state called off the two weeks strike following an agreement with the state government.
Before the agreement at a meeting on Wednesday, Governor Ibikunle Amosun had announced the dismissal of the state chairman of the NUT, Dare Ilekoya, and 14 other leaders of the union, from service.
He also suspended 19 others for alleged involvement in acts considered to be partisan.
Addressing a press conference at the NUT secretariat in Abeokuta, the National President of the union, Michael Olukoya, admitted that the sacked and suspended teachers burnt their fingers by making “political commentaries” during the annual Teachers Day celebration.
“The national leadership of the NUT reviewed the activities of the NUT Ogun State Wing during the said 2016 World Teachers Day Celebration and discovered that the situation was not only unfortunate but also regrettable,” Mr. Olukoya said.
He said the development demanded an apology from the body and begged the governor to temper justice with mercy for the affected officials.
Mr. Olukoya said the action of the state officials did not conform with the tradition of NUT celebrations.
“Having discovered the errors and serious shortcomings on the part of the state wing in the planning and execution of the 2016 World Teachers Day Celebration in Ogun State, the union, right from the regional level of South West, quickly rose to the situation, condemned the action of the union in the state and tried to reach the state government to see how to handle the unfortunate situation”, he stated.
“As a responsible organisation, we wish to apologise on behalf of our offending members and ask for clemency from the governor of the state. We plead with the state governor to grant them pardon, recall and reinstate them to their duty posts. Government should be rest assured that no such condition shall repeat itself again in future”, the NUT leader said.
He said the union had sent a letter of appeal to the governor. The NUT president also called on the media and traditional rulers in the state to join it in appealing to the state government to reconsider its punishment of the affected teachers.
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