Ekiti NUT Election Turns Bloody, Three wounded, Two Detained

Ekiti NUT Election Turns Bloody, Three wounded, Two DetainedNo fewer than three persons were wounded on Thursday and two arrested and detained over the conduct of the elections into the State Executive Council of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Ekiti chapter.

The victims, who were delegates drawn from some primary and secondary schools across the state, were said to have been arrested and allegedly beaten by men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps( NSCDC) and Department of State Security (DSS).

Addressing journalists after the chaos, a contestant, Mr Lucas Adu, said that those arrested were in the custody of the DSS while the injured have been taken to Ekiti State University Teaching hospital for treatment.

The aggrieved candidate said that the NUT electoral body was about starting the election when some of his supporters queried the rationale behind the choosing of the delegates.

He accused the outgoing chairman, Mr Samuel Akosile of inviting the DSS and NSCDC who invaded the place and chased them out of the election venue.

Adu said that the security operatives shot sporadically into the air to scare them, and some members were wounded in the ensuing melee.

Adu also accused the outgoing chairman, Samuel Akosile and the NUT Secretary, Mr Olugbenga Ajibade, of shortchanging a faction operating under the banner of Progressive Group of NUT by allegedly doctoring the delegate list to favour another contestant, Segun Odugbesan.

He said that the group, in a petition dated October 25 and signed by one Mr Adeparusi S.T. and addressed to the NUT headquarters in Abuja, had complained about the lopsidedness and nothing was done to correct the perceived infraction.

“We want outright cancellation of this election. They started by doctoring the delegate lists. For instance, in Ado local government, the delegate list ought to be 87, they reduced it  to  37, because Akosile knew that his group didn’t win in the local government. But he jacked the delegate lists in councils where his group won.

“We wrote protest letters to the governor, national secretariat over the looming crisis, but when we got to the election centre, we said the manipulations should be addressed. They denied us of our right and we left the place in anger.

However, the State Secretary of the union denied the allegation, saying no delegate list was doctored, as the delegates were carefully chosen in line with the constitution and based on financial strength of the local governments.

Ajibade also said that nobody was beaten by security agencies, clarifying that security men were only there to maintain law and order.

“Before the election, the issue was taken to the state executive council and all the representatives from the 16 local governments were present.

“At the meeting, the numbers allotted to each council was read and nobody raised objection. So, it was wrong for them to come and raise the issue on election day,” he argued.

Oshiomhole Says Not Bothered By Teachers’ Failure To Attend Test

Adams OshiomholeWhile commending the Union of teachers in Edo State for protecting its interests and supporting him during the elections that made him governor, Adams Oshiomhole has said he would rather lose his job than “keep it and fail to use it to secure the future”.

“Edo State government will not retain in its employment, anyone whose suitability in a classroom has not been ascertained,” he warned.

This is coming after majority of the teachers in the State failed to turn up at the assessment test conducted to determine the training needs of the teachers.  Oshiomhole further promised to forge ahead in his quest for better education for Edo students as “leadership requires courage to do what you are convinced about particularly when it is informed by the good of the people”.

Appearing on Sunrise, Oshiomhole explained that the test was in a bid to assess the teachers and determine what kind of training they would need to be able to deliver their best. However, “the unions have made it a big issue”, he noted.

He stressed that the educational foundation laid for Nigerian students will determine the future of the nation, adding that even “the poorest of the poor must have at least a sound basic education, which in Nigeria we call Universal Basic Education.”

He explained that the reason why his administration grants free education for students up to the secondary level is to give the foundation to build their lives on.

He complained of the State’s inability to boast of its teachers despite the investments made in building schools and ensuring that children have access to education at no cost. According to the governor, a student had complained of teacher’s absence during school hours, while he was on a visit to one of the schools in the State.

Teachers had been absent from classes on the average of two out of five days while many did not resume at the specified time.

Despite his stern warning to the teachers, Oshiomohle expressed hope that those unwilling to take the assessment test would change their minds after seeing how those who did are treated.

“Some people have done the test. We are waiting to see the results. By the way we treat them; I hope others would recognise that this whole thing is not about punishment.”