…Warns teachers to be careful
By Adesina Wahab & Efe Onodjae
The Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, on Wednesday, said there was no truth in the claim by the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools, ASUSS, that the union has been officially recognised as a trade union for teachers in the country.
The NUT, through its National President, Dr Nasir Idris, who stated this in Lagos at a press briefing, also warned teachers in public secondary schools to be wary of being deceived by some so-called union leaders that they have been recognised.
He said the warning became necessary in order not to cause confusion and disaffection among teachers in public secondary schools in the country.
He said NUT founded about 90 years ago had been the only trade union in the country with no faction binding all teachers in public schools below tertiary levels together.
Idris added that the NUT had been the one championing the cause of the nation’s public primary and secondary school teachers all along.
He said such actions led to the approval of 27.5 per cent Teachers Peculiar Allowance, recent increment in the retirement age from 65 years or 70 years in service and the annual National Teacher Awards, among others.
Idris, represented by the Vice- President, NUT, Mr Kelvin Nwankwo, explained that NUT would not have taken issue with ASUSS but because it had gone to the media and misinformed the public claiming to have been granted power by the Supreme Court to be a trade union.
He said there was nothing near the claim in the resolution of the Supreme Court in the case between the two parties- NUT and ASUSS.
Idris explained that it was NUT that originally challenged ASUSS at the High Court for parading itself as a trade union with secondary school teachers as members and that court ruled in NUT’s favour.
He said further that ASUSS appealed the judgment and then the matter got to the Supreme Court with the latter now referring both parties back to the Court of Appeal for the appellate court to decide whether the Federal High Court had the jurisdiction to hear the matter in the first instance.
He said the above was the current state of the matter and NUT was still awaiting the transmission of the case to the appellate court and wondered why ASUSS now misinterpreted it to mean that Supreme Court had ruled in its favour.
He challenged ASUSS to name under which umbrella organisation it was affiliated and also make public its purported judgment.
The NUT boss, however, pointed out that some state governments and their governors were not only pushing but also backing ASUSS to cause divisions in NUT so as not to be united to pursue common goals.