It’s sad that there’s strike in almost all public corporation in Nigeria, and the latest information reaching us today, is that more than 101 striking primary school teachers in Benue State have lost their lives within the past eight months that they have been away from teaching, and this is following the Benue state government inability to meet their demand for the minimum wage.
According to the National secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Teachers’ (NUT), in Abuja, which had ordered the Benue state chapter in Makurdi to down tools in November 2013 after several meetings it held with the state government failed to yield desired results to call of the strike.
While the state government, which had on its own part evolved several strategies including a proposed cut in salaries of its work force to enable it satisfy the yearnings of the teachers but none of the measures has worked out so far, which has also result in the deaths of it’s workers.
The Makurdi NUT chairman, Comrade Benjamin Kwaghtamen, who disclosed this information to our correspondent, said that he has so far, lost more than forty nine (49) teachers while his counterpart in Gboko Local Government Area, Comrade Charles Abuul, put death toll in his domain at Twelve (12) following non-payment of their salaries for several months now.
Similarly, the chairman of Otukpo NUT, Udeh Adole, who we were able to interview, said that his chapter has lost eleven (11) teachers just as his Kwande colleague, James Faga said 21 teachers died in his locality as well as Comrade Jilaji of Vandeikya Local Government Area who confirmed the death of eight teachers in his area.
Though the Benue State chairman of the NUT, Godwin Anya however told newsmen that he could not confirm the exact number of teachers who have died within the period as he was yet to collate the figures from the 23 local government areas.
We once again, hope and pray that this strike gets called off. One thing we are not able to gather, is the cause of their deaths, we don’t know if it’s from hunger/poverty, sickness or while striking.
But we hope that no live is loss again.