By Adibe Emenyonu
The Edo State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Tuesday said in spite of the order by the National Industrial Court (NIC), which restrained it from embarking on strike, its members will not go back to work.
The NIC, sitting in Benin City, had on Monday in a suit filed by the state government and the state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) with Suit No. NICN/BEN/04/2021, restrained the NUT from proceeding on any strike in the state primary schools.
Reacting to the restraining order, the state leadership of NUT said it had not been served with any processes or documents of court injunction against the ongoing strike that commenced on January 18, 2021 when primary schools were expected to resume for academic activities.
The state government, however, moved the schools’ resumption to February 1, 2021.
The Assistant Secretary General of the state NUT, Moni Mike Modesty Itua, said at the close of work on Monday that no court papers has been served on the union.
According to him, “The union is not aware of any court order. It was yet to be served any court order. As far as the union is concerned, the indefinite strike is still in force. The indefinite strike continues indefinitely.”
Despite the restraining court order, teachers on the second day of the strike failed to resume at their various schools visited in Benin City, the capital of the state.
A visit to Emokpae Model Primary School, along Mission Road was devoid of the normal hustling and bustling of academic activities as the teachers were yet to call off the ongoing strike.
A few staff suspected to be those of the local government education authority and the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) were sighted in the school with few pupils in a classroom as well as officials of the Public Works Volunteer (PUWOV) to provide security to the staff.
The situation at Agbado Primary School along Akpakpava road was the worst as there were no teachers and pupils in the school premises except officials of PUWOV.
Similarly, Asoro Primary School was under lock and key, while officials of PUWOV manned the gate.
At Ogboe Primary School located at First East Circular road, only officials of PUWOV were in the school compound.
The strike, which took effect on Monday, January 18 disrupted school resumption Tuesday across the state, leaving pupils of government-owned schools stranded.