By Tony Edike
ENUGU-SOME primary school teachers in Enugu North council area of Enugu State were yesterday arrested by the police for staging a protest over non-payment of their salaries during the campaign rally organised by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the state capital and attended by Governor Sullivan Chime.
The teachers used the opportunity of the rally held at the Enugu North local government secretariat to draw the attention of the governor to their plight over the said unpaid salaries but unknown to them the environment was not conducive for such protest.
State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Job Doma, however, said when contacted on telephone yesterday that he would tell the DPO to release them “while we continue with our investigation into what would have made them take their protest to the campaign rally”.
Doma who said he was yet to be briefed by press time, stated that it was improper for the teachers to take their protest to the political event because the party holding the function would easily think they were sent by their opponents.
It was learnt that Governor Chime and members of his campaign team were soliciting for votes at the venue of the rally about 2.pm when over 50 teachers who brandished placards, suddenly entered the venue and chanting “pay us our money, pay us our money”.
Some of the placards read: “Your Excellency, save us from hunger,” “Your Excellency we are dying,” “We Want our money,” “Pay us our salary,” “Our children are dying of starvation,” “We don’t deserve this,” among others.
The policemen on duty at the campaign ground were said to have immediately gone into action, arresting the teachers who they bundled into waiting patrol vans.
The teachers were taken to Central Police Station, CPS, Enugu, where some of them are detained at the Human Rights Department.
A few of them later secured their freedom when their influential relations came to bail them but as at 6pm yesterday respite had not come for majority of them.
One of them who was bailed by her husband who is a lawyer identified herself as Mrs Ogbonna.
It was gathered that the teachers had to take to the protest because they have made several frantic efforts to get official attention over these unpaid salaries to no avail.