As more Nigerians and foreign nations join forces in the struggle to rescue the kidnapped students of the Government Girls Secondary School in
Chibok, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Ondo State, on Thursday, took to the streets of Akure, the capital city, as part of a solidarity rally for the quick rescue of the children.
The national body of the Union had in an earlier statement called for a Nationwide solidarity protest for the rescue of the Chibok students,
with directions to close down all public secondary, and primary schools across the country.
SaharaReporters learned that not many of the schools were closed down in the state as a sign of solidarity for the abducted students, as directed by its national leadership.
The protesting teachers, in their thousands, chanted solidarity songs and armed with placards bearing inscriptions such as “Boko haram is evil,” “Bring an end to Boko haram insurgence.” Other signs read, “Western Education is a means to civilization.” They called on the federal government to intensify all political power in ensuring the students are released un-harmed.
The teachers who took part in this gathering described the abduction of the 200 plus Chibok students as an assault, not only to humanity, but to the country which prides itself the giant of Africa. Many added that the attack on teachers in the northern part of Borno state should be condemned, as well.
The aggrieved teachers who directed their protest to the Alagbaba Office of the Governor in Akure, said the protest might continue nationwide, if drastic measures are not put in place to address, or curb, the menace of the insurgent and Islamist Boko Haram group.
The teachers noted that the abducted students are “the raw materials” being processed for human resource development of the nation, hence, the government at all levels must do everything to save them from the Boko Haram insurgents.
Addressing the Teachers at the Governors office, the State Chairman of the NUT, Comrade Ojo Fanimokun, appealed to the Federal government to show more concern over the plight of the people, by guaranteeing security of lives, and property in the country.
Fanimoukun said there is an “urgent need to declare a state of emergency” in the nation’s educational system, to address the ugly incident bedeviling the sector.
“It is important, like we had called at different times, to declare emergency in the state of education. Making the lives secure in our school system, and guaranteeing (a) conducive and peaceful learning environment is the first emergency need of our education system,” Fanimokun said.
The state NUT chairman, equally demanded that both the Federal and the respective State Governments should exhibit true concern to the families of the 173 teachers. Educators, the state chairman said, “who lost their lives to the barbaric, uncivilized and wicked acts of terror,” by paying them adequate compensation to assist in soothing their misery.
“It is also important to take insurance cover for both students, and teachers in the vulnerable political environment of the country. Education should not be criminalized. As teachers, now living under constant fears of attack, with their social condition further plummeted, a national concern for our plight must take immediate national importance,” The state chairman with a sense of urgency in his voice.
In his response, the Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, said the country is currently “witnessing and experiencing trying times,” which he noted would soon come to an end, with prayers and the total support of all Nigerians.
Mimiko, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Kola Ademujimi, said the country should mourn those who lost their lives to the attacks, and destruction of the Boko Haram insurgency.
A SaharaReporters Correspondent learned that some secondary school students, also in a march to condemn the abduction, later joined the protesting teachers.