Strike: FCT teachers’ meeting with Wike ends in deadlock

The meeting between the standing committee of the state wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, over the ongoing strike by primary school teachers has ended in deadlock.

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The teachers had embarked on strike over non payment of their 25-month minimum wage arrears.

The meeting, which was conveyed at the instance of Wike, took place at the conference room of the FCTA, which had the six area councils chairmen, mandate secretaries for area councils and education in attendance.

A member of the union’s standing committee, who preferred anonymity, confided in our reporter that the discussion between the union and the FCT administration could not be concluded on Tuesday.

He said “Yes, the meeting between FCT NUT and the minister could not be concluded as the discussion continues because from the actions of the council chairmen at the meeting, it doesn’t show they are ready to pay teachers their arrears soon.”

The general secretary of the FCT NUT Comrade Margaret I. Jethro, who also spoke to our reporter, confirmed that the union’s meeting with the minister could not be concluded.

“Actually, the union met behind the closed door with the minister but the meeting continues tomorrow (Wednesday), while the primary school teachers strike continues,” he said.

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Daily trust had reported that the FCT minister blamed chairmen of the six area councils for the ongoing strike by primary school teachers in the territory.

Wike, who addressed journalists in Abuja on Tuesday shortly before a closed door emergency meeting with security agencies and the chairmen, said the area council chairmen had not lived up to their responsibilities.

Recall that the FCT wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) on Sunday, directed primary school teachers to proceed on an indefinite strike from January, 15, 2024.

The strike is a continuation of an earlier one suspended by the union in 2023 over non payment of 40 per cent Peculiar Allowance and 25-month minimum wage arrears, among other issues.

The NUT suspended the strike on October 2, 2023 to allow for the resolution of the issues within six weeks, but nothing was done.

The minister, therefore, blamed the lingering strike on the council chairmen, and urged them to be more alive to their duties.

“Recently, the NUT embarked on strike; it is not because of our fault, it is the council chairmen’s fault because primary schools are under the purview of the area councils.

“Again, it will look as if the ministers are doing nothing, but that is not our responsibility,” Wike said.

He however said he had invited the striking teachers for a meeting to resolve the problems.

“Council chairmen should know that they must wake up to their responsibilities,” the minister added.

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