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8 months ago
Posted By Thomas Goodday | Under Others

Jun 12 2019
The quality of educational outcomes is the product of effective and efficient utilization of human, material, financial resources. Of these, the contribution of human resources particularly the teachers cannot be over emphasized.

The teachers are the active agents who utilize the other resources in a manner that can produce the desired results. They are the main determinants of the quality of education. It is on that note; no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers.

On the contrary, teachers in the teaching industry have not been given much attention today. The teaching profession has been relegated to the background and down trodden. We have observed that becoming a teacher in Nigeria is fraught or greeted with dilemmas and problems.

Teachers in the primary Sector post primary inclusive in the State are unhappy, frustrated, uninspired and unmotivated. The Governor is owing the Primary School Teachers and the Authority Staff members at least a backlog of FIVE AND HALF MONTHS SALARY ARREARS IN ALL THE EIGHT LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF 2016 and 2017 respectively. He is also owing the council staff members SEVERAL MONTHS across the state.

Apart from salary payment, the governor also errs in other key areas which include: refusal to pay EIGHTEEN Thousand Naira minimum wage and promotion arrears, refusal to implement promotion and increased steps, fragrant stoppage of Exams Bonus given by previous administrations. A level 10 staff in Ekeremor Local Government is receiving level 8 salary. Why? A level ‘14’ staff is receiving level ‘12’ salary. Why? A staff who is due for level 17 is receiving level 15. Why? He claims to have invested much in the education sector. Yet the human elements i.e the teachers are languishing or wallowing in abject poverty. What a paradox? To pay HEAD TEACHERS’ IMPREST OF FIFTEEN THOUSAND NAIRA is a problem. Why?

Salary payment is guided by laws and cannot be slashed by executive fiat. Yet, he was paying half salary in 2016 and 2017. WHY? Legitimately employed career civil servants by erstwhile administrations were sacked at will in the name of verification exercise.

Why? Democratic governance now metamorphosed into predatory rule. Why? The primary purpose of governance is security & welfare of the people. Primary School Teachers in the State are mired in abject poverty. Why? This is social injustice of the highest order.

Teachers who are role models of the society are now begging on the street. Why? The general state workers’ salaries were slashed according to levels in the name of Education Trust Fund. Why?

1. There is a massive, acute hunger on the land. And the one time glory of all lands has collapsed.

2. Many have been sent to untimely grave.

3. We have been subjected to public ridicule and humiliation.

4. Many of our children are now out of school.

5. It resulted to mental and physical suffering.

6. It is a serious attack upon human dignity.

7. It has reduced Bayelsa teachers to bare life or life not worth living.

8. Deprivation of adequate standard of living such as adequate food, shelter and medical care as a result of non-payment of salaries.

9. Increased crime rate. E.g. kidnapping, armed robbery, political assassinations e.t.c.

Union leaders at local, state and national levels who suppose to use the weapon of strike to press home our demands are not helping us. Today strike and tomorrow suspension. Why? No strike has ever lasted for two weeks in the state. Why? If they were resolute in their strikes, we would not have suffered. Apart of our plight therefore is attributable to our union leaders for their inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

Education remains the only means of emancipation. Yet, teachers in Bayelsa State are languishing. Why? A governor of a state of eight (8) Local Governments who receives federal allocations of at least #12 billion every month cannot pay salaries to his workforce at a wage bill of 3.7 or 8bn. Why? How did he spend the monthly allocation from the Federal Government being an oil producing state? How did he spend the bailout funds from the Federal Government? What about the London Paris Club Refunds that he received repeatedly from the Federal Government as an oil producing state? The action of the governor has dented the image of the Federal Government as non performance. Therefore he should be called to book despite the immunity clause. The interpreters of the law will give human face when interpreting.

Some people claim he is embarking on major projects like the Ekeremor – Aggei Road, and the Izon National Academy, African University, Bayelsa State Airport e.t.c. The hungry & angry teachers are not seeing those projects because he uses the projects to drain or siphon the funds of the state e.g. a two billion naira project can be inflated to five billion. Hence he has money for projects and has no money to pay salaries of workers. This is an irony of situation. His brazen negligence to pay workers is a pointer to the above claim. This is evident as man’s inhumanity to man and must be resisted.

Where are our well spirited individuals and human rights activist lawyers? Such as Chief Edwin Clark our Izon National Leader, Prof. Wole Soyinka our literary lion, Barr. Mike Ozahkeme (SAN) the defender of the voiceless in the society, Barr. Falana (SAN).
The Defender of the oppressed in the Society, Late Chief Ganifawehinmi the legal lion or icon where are you? If it were possible, we would have requested you to come out from the grave and defended us. We are dying.

Governor Ben Ayade a performer from Cross River State, where are you? Governor Nysome Winke a perfomer from River State, where are you? Governor Okowa you all cleared all the backlog of salary arrears in your state, where are you? Come to our aid.

Your colleague Governor Seriake Dickson has dented the image of your great party. President Muhammadu Buhari, the crusader of the anti-corruption war in Nigeria, where are you? Governors who refuse to pay salaries to workers are corrupt governors.

Therefore what are you waiting for? Lay your hammer on them squarely to bail us out of this quagmire we are in today. You about to distribute another #649 Billion from Paris Club Refund to states. Be wise and ensure that the purpose is served.

Your efforts to put smiles on the faces of Nigerian workers especially teachers have been truncated by these self seeking, greedy governors. Deal with them ruthlessly this time irrespective of party affiliation.
Bayelsa teachers give you kudos for your recent signing of the #30,000 minimum wage into law & the proposed financial autonomy of local governments across the country.

Caretaker government is an aberration. Local Government elections have not been conducted. He cleverly drains or siphons the wealth of the state by running caretaker government across the eight (8) local government areas in the state.

He has recently cleared the backlog of post primary school Teachers salary arrears, and other ministry workers including development centers. He has deduced another method of slashing the individual salaries of the post primary school teachers at will monthly. Why? Are we his enemies?

The governor was installed by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Because he brought him from House Rep. The ranks of the poor including teachers are swelling by the day, hopeless and helpless, as we watch in frustration the affluence of Governor Dickson Seriake and his family cruising in a different world. Where are you? Teachers in your Local Government Area (Ogbia) are also begging on the street.
Where are you? Bayelsa State was centre of attraction in the day’s of Late former governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. But today the reverse is the case. Businessmen and women are now relocating to other states. Where are you?

Bayelsa State House Of Assembly also contributes to teachers plight. A legislative House must not only be capable of making laws for the safety and general wellbeing of the people, but must also be able to manage funds in order to provide good life for the entire citizenry.

The failure of the fifth Assembly to perform this important function crates room for the governor to mismanage the fund of the state. Instead they were seeking life pension for themselves.
The incoming sixth Assembly is advised to always carry out the oversight functions to ensure openness, accountability and prohibit in governance.

(The Guardian Newspaper of Thursday, June 6, 2019, Page 2) reveals that the figure of extremely poor people in Nigeria has risen to 93.7 million in 2019.

According to this report, 93,720,530 people in Nigeria now live in extreme poverty. With this information, what name will you call governor SERIAKE DICKSON Bayelsa State?

A single tree cannot make a forest. Therefore we are making passionate appeal to all other concern agencies and pro-transparency groups to come to our aid by ensuring that this malady is addressed once and for all.

From the weeping Primary School Teachers and Authority Staff Members in Bayelsa State.

Please read and send to many civil servants in Bayelsa State as possible.

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