Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), on Wednesday, cautioned all the public secondary school teachers in the country to disregard the claim by the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) announcing its official recognition as a union, saying the claim is a falsehood.
National President of NUT, Dr Nasir Idris, gave the warning at a news conference in Lagos.
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 has been the only trade union in the country with no faction binding all teachers in public schools below tertiary levels together.
He said that is why the union has been the one championing the course of the nation’s public primary and secondary school teachers as affecting them including the approval of 27.5 per cent Teachers Peculiar Allowance, recent upgrade by five years of retirement age to 65 years or 40 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 joined 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 High Court for parading itself as a trade union with secondary school teachers as members and that court ruled in NUT favour.
He said further that ASUSS challenged the judgment at the appellate court and then, Supreme Court with the latter now referring both parties back to Court of Appeal for the rehearing on the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, in the first instance, on the matter.
He said the above was the current state of the matter and NUT is 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 is affiliated and also make public it purported judgment.
The NUT boss, however, pointed out that some state governments and their governors are not only pushing but also backing ASUSS to cause divisions in NUT so as not to be united to pursue common goals.
He emphasised that NUT remains the only recognised teachers’ trade union at primary and secondary school levels in Nigeria.
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