THE leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has ordered the closure of all schools nationwide today in protest against the abduction of the over 200 female students of Government Secondary School, Chibok, by the Boko Haram sect.
The teachers are also to hold “Bring back our girls” rallies simultaneously across the 36 states of the federation and Abuja today.
NUT President, Comrade Michael Olukoya, while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, demanded the safe release of the schoolgirls abducted over a month ago.
He also called on the Federal Government and respective state governments to pay adequate compensation to families of 173 teachers killed by the Boko Haram sect during attacks in Borno and Yobe states.
NUT while condemning the killing of the teachers, said “we demand that both the federal and the respective State Governments should exhibit true concern to the families of the 173 teachers -170 from Borno and three from Yobe — who lost their lives to the barbaric, uncivilised and wicked acts of terror by paying them adequate compensation to assist in soothing their misery.”
Olukoya, also called on the Federal Government to properly secure the schools nationwide, to ward-off incessant attacks by the insurgents, saying it was most unfortunate and painful that the school system had suffered the worst attacks from primary to tertiary education system.
He also urged the governments at all levels to provide insurance cover for both students and teachers in the vulnerable political environment in the country.
The teachers, while insisting that the Federal Government should declare state of emergency, maintained that education remained the bedrock for development of any nation.
They also called on government to publicly declare education as fundamental human rights and that its abridgement should be criminalised.
“All schools nationwide shall be closed, as today, will be our day of protest against the abduction of the Chibok female students and the heartless murder of 173 teachers.
“We remain resolute in our resolve to continue the campaign even as we mourn the death of our colleagues, until our girls are brought back safe and alive and the perpetrators of the heinous crime are brought to book,” Olukoya said.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State wing of NUT, in line with the national directive, has mandated all teachers in the state to stay away from classrooms, while all government schools would also be shut.
The Oyo State wing of the union, in a release signed by its state secretary, Waheed Olojede, said it had sought the understanding of the state government over what it called “the patrotic move of the union and its leadership” before the issuance of the directive.