Governor Gabriel Suswam listen to the Plight of Teachers
A leader is someone who has the interest of his followers at heart,
one who strives at all times to ensure that he carries the people
along in his daily duties and governance. No leader who is genuinely
elected by the people can or should despise the people because he owes
what he is to them. And considering the transience of power and life,
he knows that someday he will leave power and go back to the level of
the people. No matter how tasteful power is, he must guard himself
from becoming power drunk.
Gabriel Suswam the Executive Governor of Benue State, is someone you
will say emerge due to imposition and rigging of elections in his
favour. A benefit he derived from his erstwhile god father, George
Akume. He has been in charge of Benue for the past 7 years and i must
confess that his tenure has not been savoury. Suswam is someone you
will say is power drunk and since the people played little or no role
in his emergence as governor, their wishes are no business of his, he
simply doesn't give a hoot about them and they can go to hell for all
It is in this drunken state that he has become hardened and has
neglected his primary responsibility to the people of the food basket
State. Did i say food basket State? Well, that was then not now.
One area where this drunkenness comes to the fore, is the way the
governor has handled issues bordering on the strike by primary school
teachers. Suffice it to state that primary schools in Benue State have
been closed since July 2013 and its dear governor finds nothing wrong
with this. If you visit Benue, you find children of school age hawking
fish, orange, mango, and some of them are conductors. The other day i
asked young boy who is a conductor, he is not in school, he said his
teachers have been on strike and that his parents lack the means of
sending him to a private school.
Governor Gabriel Suswam is himself a product of the LGEA, one
therefore wonder why he has decided to be this harsh with his alma
mater. Imagine if the governor during his time had closed down schools
for this long, would he have risen to where he is today? Allowing
primary schools to be shut down for this long shows one thing; Gabriel
Suswam does not value and appreciate education!
The effect of this closure can cannot be quantified. Imagine the
number of teachers who have been idle for a long time. Most of them
have nothing to do and were primarily dependent on their meagre salary
which government has graciously held on to. They are humans and they
have responsibilities which they must meet. They must feed, clothe,
and do other things. If they are not working and have earned nothing
for eleven months, how would they meet these demands? A lot of them
have died and more are dying. But government is still adamant!
We dare not forget the dependants of these teachers, who have been
forced to adjust to the realities of life. I have met some of them and
i tell you its not been easy. Life has been a living hell for a lot of
them. No wonder crime rate has increased. Who takes the blames for
this increase in crime, is it the people who have been pushed into
committing crime or the person who pushed them?
The number three citizen of Nigeria is from Benue State. Supposing he
wants to feign ignorance of the ongoing strike by teachers on the
premise that he has not visited the state for a long time, which is
not possible, atleast he was here on th 29 May 2014 where he praised
the governor and even described him as his son. Why hasn't he
therefore adviced his son to the the appropriate thing? President
Goodluck Jonathan is also a close pal of the governor. Why hasn't he
adviced him? Why haven't the elders of Benue State adviced him? Or is
it that this man does not listen to advice?
I am making a passionate plea to well meaning Nigerians to intervene
in the ongoing crises beween the governor and teachers in Benue State.
All stakeholders should please intervene to save Benue from imminent
Let me also call on the Nigerian Union of Teachers to also intervene
and urge its branch in Benue to let reason prevail let also not
forclose the opportunity for dialogue and the hardline stances adopted
by it should be reconsidered.
@Foijege on twitter