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The wrangling in the Taraba State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) has taken a different dimension as the union has been factionalized into two groups.
This comes after the union’s election which took place in Donga local government council of the state.
The new group, reportedly backed by the government, has been named the Association of Basic Education Teachers.
The faction was said to have been gifted an 18-seater bus and a Hilux van.
The refusal of the union members to allow the government to impose on them an unpopular candidate as the chairman of the union was said to have led to the emergence of the new group.
Speaking, the union’s newly elected chairman, Comrade Nathan Solomon accused the state government of causing division in the union.
He alleged that the state government encouraged the breakaway in the union by supporting those who lost the election to form a parallel body.
Stressing how the election, in which he was elected along with his new exco, was free and fair with representatives of the National President of the union in attendance, he expressed sadness at the way and manner the government had gone ahead to create division among the members by sponsoring the creation of another body.
“The election held in Donga was free and fair and supervised by a representative of the National President of the union, representative of the Nigeria Labour Congress and state government were also present,” he said.
Solomon, who said the new leadership of the union led by him will never be in confrontation with the government over issues affecting its members, however, vowed to tread the path of dialogue.
The chairman, who noted that the new exco of the union has the support of all members in the 16 local government councils of the state, expressed sadness at the involvement of the police whom he also accused of allowing themselves to be used by the state government in issue bordering on labour dispute.
The Chairman of the factional group, Comrade Asoushi Bulus, who described NUT as a union of “unscrupulous elements that were out to discredit Governor Darius Ishaku and his administration” reiterated the determination and readiness of the new association to be loyal to the government.
The new group under his leadership, he vowed “will never be a party to incite the Teachers and teaming population against the state government.”
Aligning its weight to that of the new association, the state government through the State Universal Basic Education Board (TSUBEB), expressed sadness over the alleged inability of the NUT “to reciprocate the gestures of the Board and that of the government ” adding that “but went ahead to disrespect the board and teachers from the state. ”
The board who spoke through its chairman, Yakubu Agbaizo, while inaugurating the leadership of the new association, charged the new leadership of the association whom he said the government would work with to go ahead and mobilize the teachers in doing the right thing.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK