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Teachers’ Day celebration: NUT apologises to Ogun govt

THE national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), on Thursday, apologised to the Ogun State government, traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the education industry, over the activities surrounding the 2016 World Teachers Day celebration, as organised by the state wing.

The body condemned all the issues surrounding the celebration and described it as unfortunate and highly regrettable.

Addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, the National President of the union, Comrade Alogba Olukoya, flanked by other national executives, at the NUT Hall, wondered why the state wing decided to have an elaborate celebration, despite its directive of low key celebration across the states of the federation, in view of the prevailing economic circumstances in the country.

Olukoya explained that the union became worried about the development and therefore called an emergency meeting of states in the South-West, including Lagos and Delta.

Nigerian Tribune recalled that the state government, by actions of the officials of the state wing of the union, on Monday, dismissed 15 of its members, which included the state chairman, Comrade Dare Ilekoya, while 19 others were suspended, having found culpable.

The state government had instituted administrative panel of inquiry to investigate the event, with a view to identifying public servants directly or indirectly involved in partisan politics during the ceremony.

The NUT boss appealed to the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, to pardon the public servants, by recalling and reinstating them to their duty posts.

He said, “NUT is both a trade union and a professional group. The scenario that played out during the celebration called for genuine and sincere apology on our part to the state government and other stakeholders. It is not in our character to embarrass any government in power.

“The national leadership of the NUT condemned this unfortunate development in its entirety, as it did not conform with traditions and modus operandi of NUT celebrations.

“At times, error could be made and what has happened was highly regrettable and embarrassing. On behalf of the national leadership of the NUT, we have come to ask for clemency from Governor Amosun. Government should be rest assured that no such condition shall repeat itself again in future.

“We wish to equally apologise to the traditional rulers, whom our teachers showed disrespect to. As the teachers had been thoroughly dealt with, we appeal for the forgiveness of our royal fathers.”

Olukoya added that the union would put up a letter of apology to the state government and others concerned so as to settle the matter amicably.

He equally called on the state government to consider the immediate reinstatement of officials who were not party to the celebration, but dismissed or suspended erroneously.