APRIL POLLS: 10,000 TEACHERS STORM ENUGU GOVT HOUSE, PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR CHIME
Over 10,000 teachers in Enugu State yesterday stormed the Government House to demonstrate their support for Governor Sullivan Chime in the April election.
The teachers, led by the state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Chiamiloh Nze said they decided to close their schools to march down to the governor's office to demonstrate their anger over reports in some segments of the media (not Daily Sun) which claimed they came to Chime's campaign rally held on March 10 in Enugu North protesting.
The teachers, who spoke through their NUT chairman said the report was the handiwork of mischief-makers in the state who want to spoil the cordial relationship existing between them and the governor. Nze told the governor, who was represented at the occasion by his deputy, Mr Sunday Onyebuchi that they had assembled at the Government House because of the publication, which they described as false, embarrassing and uncalled for.
'NUT is a responsible trade union and so, we would not have come to any rally carrying placards to protest,' he said, emphasizing that 'no teacher in Enugu State carried placards to the rally.'
The chairman said that teachers in the state believed in responsible government, especially one that had performed creditably well like the government of Chime.
'We believe in responsible government, we are happy with the present Enugu State government. It was the handiwork of the detractors and enemies of Enugu State. We have our right of choice. We are solidly behind you, teachers will give you support at any time,' he assured the governor, while stressing that 'what we have come here today to say is that we are solidly behind you and that publication is not of our making.'
He said teachers in the state, who participated fully during the voters' registration exercise were waiting patiently for the elections to come for themselves to prove to the governor that they love him.
Before the deputy governor responded on behalf of the governor, the teachers called on the government to complete their Teachers Salary Structure (TSS) which still had an outstanding of 17 percent.
Onyebuchi promised the teachers that in the next few weeks the government would be meeting with the leaders of NUT towards addressing issues relating to teachers' welfare in the state.
He said he was overwhelmed by the number of teachers who trooped out to the Government House to show support for the governor. 'If 100 teachers had come here today, I would have said thank you, if 1,000 teachers had come, I would have also said thank you. So, I don't know if thank you is enough for 10,000 teachers.
'This solidarity shows that good governance is appreciated. After seeing this show of support by the teachers today, those who are going about distracting the government will be afraid of this gathering. We appreciate the pains you went through today coming under the sun just to show support for your governor; I assure you that your coming to this place will not be in vain,' he said.
The deputy governor urged the teachers to equally apply the energy and zeal they used in coming to the Government House to show support for the governor to come out during the election days to vote for the governor and other PDP candidates.