From Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Delta State wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) on Sunday lamented kidnap upsurge in the state, particularly the kidnap of helpless teachers while discharging their professional duties
With no fewer than 73 teachers reportedly kidnapped and ransome paid for their release in the last seven months in the state, the NUT in a statement signed and issued by Its Secretary, Mr Dan Basime, a copy made available to our correspondent in Asaba, expressed dismay that the union had been faced with the hue and cry of increasing kidnap of its members, disclosing that recently, one Mrs Gladys Nemogha Belleh and Mrs Blessing Emuniefe both teachers were kidnapped in Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area of the state while discharging their professional duties in the school.
The statement noted that if the security situation was not arrested now, schools in the state would be compelled to shut down, stressing that the present situation poses serious threats to the educational development if the safety of teachers could not be guaranteed, and however called for their immediate release unhurt
Part of the statement reads” The truth remains that given such ugly situation that we have found ourselves, no teacher will be ready to fully carry his or her professional duties in an atmosphere of insecurity and uncertaintity . We wonder why teachers should be target of kidnappers as no teacher has ever been declared a “ millionaire” and recalled that a similar incident occurred last year at Azagba Mixed Secondary School Issele Azagba in Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state where a teacher was killed and many others injured, while the principal and other staff were abducted.
Accordingly, the statement further said” It’s therefore worrisome that such incident is repeating itself in Uvwie Local Government Area where two female teachers were few days ago kidnapped while performing their official duties. As a union, We are becoming afraid that teachers are no longer safe in the discharge of their duties” and called on the state government and security agencies to intervene in the matter, adding that teachers deserve adequate protection in their various schools across the state to enable them discharge their work effeciently and effectively.
The NUT however commended Governor Ifeanyi okowa for the recent launch of a new security outfit:” operation Delta Hawk” aimed at tackling what it described as the growing security situation in the state and urged the security personnel deplored to the unit to live up to the expectations of Deltans . Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congressl ( NLC) Delta State has assured the pensioners in the state that the issue relating to the full implementations of the 33percent increament would soon be sorted out with the state government
Chairman of the State Labour Congress ( NLC) Mr Goodluck Ofoburuku who spoke with our correspondent in Asaba on Sunday, noted that NLC in collaboration with the state leadership of NUP were already discussing with the state government with a view to resolving the contentious issue, adding” You will recall that the issue of 33 percent increament started in 2010 and not with this present administration,but I know that you are not happy with the way it was implemented , however let me inform that we are already discussing with the state government, so that it will be rest assured that it will work out soon”