The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has been advised against plans to close down all public schools in Nigeria over delay in the safe release of abducted Chibok girls and killing of teachers, as their action could be misconstrued as support for those against western education.
The national leadership of the NUT had threatened to close down schools pending the safe release of the female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, currently in Boko Haram terrorists’ den.
But Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has called on Nigerian teachers not to contemplate closing down schools in protest against the unwholesome abduction of the students.
Governor Uduaghan who made the call on Thursday when he addressed members of the Delta State wing of NUT, who staged a peaceful protest to the Government House, Asaba explained that closing down schools as a form of protest will amount to playing into the hands of those who are against western education.
The NUT protest in Delta state was in compliance with the decision of the national leadership of the union, which had directed teachers across the federation to embark on the exercise to press for the safe release of the abducted Chibok girls.
Dr Uduaghan told the protesting teachers, who carried placards with various inscriptions, that all efforts were being made by President Goodluck Jonathan, the security operatives and international forces to bring back the girls safe and alive.
“If the classrooms are closed, then, we are supporting those against western education. We must not remotely support them, western education is good for us, it is good for the society and it is good for the nation,” Governor Uduaghan said, noting: “I am aware that neither Islam nor Christianity is against western and girl-child education, so, there is no basis for what these insurgents have done, and closing schools will be playing into the Boko Haram’s game plan.”
He commended members and leadership of the NUT for not closing schools as a result of the activities of Boko Haram as well as commiserated with the families of 173 teachers that have lost their lives to several insurgents attacks in Borno and Yobe States.
While noting that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration was determined to stop any form of terrorism in the country, the Governor said that his administration was doing everything possible to ensure safety of lives and property in the state, adding that the State Government was working with the various security personnel in the state to ensure that the state was relatively free for all.
“We have successfully waged a war against kidnapping and other forms of criminality in Delta State. I want to assure every Deltan that your safety is the priority of my administration,” he said, calling on parents to ensure proper upbringing of their children in the fight for a crime-free society.
The Chairman of NUT, Delta State wing, Comrade Jonathan Jerieyigbe had in an address he presented to the Governor observed that education remained the bedrock of the society stressing that the abduction of the Chibok girls and killing of teachers as a direct attack on the educational system.
“The Boko Haram in abducting the Chibok girls is attempting at stopping our girls from what they are and inhibiting them from what they want to become through education and this is playing God and on this, we say, bring back our girls safe and alive,” the Chairman said.