It was gathered that the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers has admitted that the Ogun State chapter of the union erred during the celebration of the 2016 World Teachers Day and itappealed to the state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, to rescind his decision to sack the leaders of the union.
The union also begged Amosun to pardon the 18 teachers suspended by the government.
The NUT President, Michael Alogba-Olukoya, made this appeal on Thursday at the state NUT secretariat, Kuto, Abeokuta, while briefing journalists on the recent sacking and suspension of its members by the government.
Alogba-Olukoya was in company with the National Secretary, Obong Obong; National Treasurer, Dr. Nasir Idris; first national Vice-President, Isaac Achem; and the National President of the All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools, Anslem Izuije, among others.
He said that a review of what transpired during the 2016 World Teachers’ Day in the state showed that the Ogun state leadership of the union erred.
The unionist explained that during the celebration of the World Teachers’ Day, which the National Executive Council considered to be too elaborate, the state leadership of the NUT was allegedly caught making political commentaries believed to be offensive to government functionaries who were in attendance.
He said, “This resulted in the unhappy disposition of some government functionaries who attended the event. The national leadership of the NUT condemns this unfortunate development in its entirety as it did not conform to the tradition and modus operandi of NUT celebrations.”
Alogba-Olukoya noted that the NUT leadership would explore all avenues to reach out to well-meaning natives of Ogun State, including former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, prominent traditional rulers, commissioner for education, science and technology and members of the state House of Assembly to intervene and ensure that the affected union leaders and teachers were pardoned.
He said “As a responsible organisation, we wish to apologise on behalf of our errant members and ask for clemency from the governor of the state. We plead with Governor Amosun to pardon and reinstate them to their duty posts. Government should be assured that no such situation shall repeat itself in the future.
“We wish to equally use this opportunity to apologise to the traditional rulers in the state who our teachers disrespected. As the teachers have been thorough dealt with, we appeal for the forgiveness of our royal fathers.”
The NUT President, who said the leadership of the union had prepared a letter of apology addressed to the state governor, added that the union was hopeful that Amosun would exhibit his “known nature of forgiveness and benevolence by treating the affected teachers as his children who had realised their mistakes and resolved to turn a new leaf.”
The sacked state chairman, Dare Ilekoya, who was present at the briefing, also appealed to the governor for pardon and reinstatement.