Ifere Paul|23 November 2016
Obudu LGA, home of the Governor of Cross River State is in the news again as yesterday teachers take the laws into their hands by closing down primary schools in the entire Local Government Area and took to the streets to protest 6 months of unpaid salaries.
Children who refused to go home also followed the procession of protesting teachers.
The teacher, some of which held placards with inscriptions on it, said that they are taking the law into their hands because "enough is enough."
Talking to my correspondent on the sideline, one of the teacher said that she has been very upset that "for the first time a governor is coming to Northern Cross River State, and Obudu for that matter, one small shoki man is spoiling the Obudu good name". The woman teacher said that she is scared because she may not be paid her salary as Christmas is fast approaching.
Another teacher said that some teachers who are not among the protesters have been paid some months. Others were paid half salaries. While many are yet to be paid.
One of the school child interviewed said that they are in support of the teacher protest. "My mum is a teacher. She has not been paid and our school exams is next week. Christmas is coming. Me and my sisters needs new Xmas clothes. The governor should pay teachers so we can write our exams," he concluded.
One of the teacher held a placard to our camera that read: Is Excellent Salary A Signature Project? Another teacher had a placard with "Pay Our 6 Months Salary Now!"
According to reliable information, the government of Cross River State is now using contractors to pay salaries. The contractors have been screening teachers for biometrics since the Ben Ayade came into power, a job they have not been able to deliver.
A source from the Primary School Management Board hinted that the contractors have embezzled over 1 Billion Naira of teachers salaries in what they thought were ghost workers. The money according to same source was shared between the Ministry of Education and the contractors.
Is a Public Policy Analyst