Teachers protest detention of members in Bauchi
By Suzan Edeh
Bauchi— Hundreds of secondary, school teachers yesterday, protested in Bauchi, Bauchi State, over the continued unlawful detention of 11 of their members.
The teachers under the aegis of Academic Staff Union of Secondary School Teachers, ASUSS, had embarked on strike to protest the forceful deduction of their allowances by the state government to fund orphans and beggars in the state.
However, the state government which was apparently miffed by the effrontery of the teachers to protest the deductions reportedly referred some of the striking teachers to the police, leading to their detention in prison custody on trumped up charges for over 10 days now.
Vanguard gathered that the ASUSS members led a procession to the Emir of Bauchi’s palace, while chanting solidarity songs, demanding the release of their detained colleagues.
They also carried placards with inscriptions like,“No payment of N18,000 minimum wage; No WAEC, NECO and JAMB;” and “No 18,000 minimum wage in Bauchi.”
Some of the teachers who condemned the alleged dictatorial tendencies of Governor Isa Yuguda, also, asked the Emir to intercede on their behalf to ensure the release of the detained teachers.
Addressing newsmen later on their predicaments, the teachers expressed their dismay over the alleged illegal detention of their colleagues, saying they needed justice over the matter.
Chairman of ASUSS, Abdullahi Ningi, said the union was not happy with the illegal detention of their members through the connivance of the state police command, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and his counterpart in the Ministry of Education.
Ningi said: “Members of the union are in the Emir’s palace to seek for justice over the detention of our members. Last week, over 200 teachers converged here in the Emir’s palace to seek for the release of our members, but the Emir pleaded with us to exercise some patience.
So we came back again to remind him of his promise and he has assured us that he was doing everything possible to see that our detained members are released. Since we respect him as a royal father, we are giving him the benefit of doubt.”