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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

he care!
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.
Frank Ijege
@Foijege on twitter