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Free-for-all as groups clash over teachers’ strike in Jos

By Taye Obateru & Adedoyin Ojosipe

Jos — two groups of teachers and parents, yesterday, clashed over how to end the almost five-month old strike by teachers in the state.

A group which described itself as Concerned Teachers and Parents in Plateau State was addressing a press conference at El-Kassim Hotel Jos, appealing to teachers to call off their protracted strike when another group, led by officials of the Nigeria Union of
Teachers (NUT) in the state, stormed the venue and disrupted the conference.

At least one video camera was smashed and other professional tools belonging to journalists were damaged.

Chairman, Concerned Parents/Teachers, Mr. Nyam Galadima read from a prepared text in which the group appealed to the teachers to heed calls to suspend the strike since, according to it, the state government had met five of their six demands.

The group urged them to consider the plight of children in public primary and secondary schools that had been at home for months and shift grounds on their insistence that all their demands  be met before the strike would be called off.

However, as the briefing progressed, a group barged in and attacked everyone in sight, including the group addressing the conference and journalists resulting in confusion as everyone struggled to get out of the hall.

A free-for-all ensued between the two groups with the NUT officials branding the group addressing the press as paid agents of government out to break the strike.

Chairman of the NUT for Jos North Local Government Area, Mr. Patrick Azi and his Jos South council counterpart, Mr. Joseph Nash later told journalists that the group was made up of self-serving people who neither represented teachers nor parents.

They insisted that the strike would continue until the state government met the teachers’ demand for the implementation of the 27.5 per cent increase in their allowances.


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