By Bishop Simon Peters Mutum, Chairman, (Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders Association (SKCLA); Bishop Joseph Danlami Bagobiri
Chairman, Board of Trustees, SKCLA.
The Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders Association (SKCLA), had their General Assembly meeting at the Pastoral Centre of the Catholic Secretariat Madakiya yesterday, November 16, 2017, to deliberate on the plans to hold our annual Prayer Summit in January 2018.
In the course of the meeting our attention was drawn to the fact that Gov Nasiru El Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State has concluded plans to sack 21,780 teachers from the state for failing a primary 4 exams he set for them. Despite protests from concerned individuals and corporate organizations, the governor is said to be defiantly carrying out his plans.
As responsible religious leaders, we cannot fold our hands and watch Gov El Rufai set the state on fire again with his crooked and jaundiced policies.
Our investigations show that:
The test which had 75% as pass mark (we are reliably informed)was not even the first test given the teachers, but the second one! In the first test more people had passed to the governor’s disappointment. So he set a second test and raised the pass mark to 75%! This means that the test was a pre-meditated and ill-intentioned trap to give a dog a bad name so as to hang it, so to say!
Out of the 21,780 teachers who “failed” the test, the spread of the victims across the 3 senatorial zones of the state are as follows: Northern Kaduna 1,557; Central Kaduna 4,567; Southern Kaduna 17,865! This means that 82% of those to be sacked are from Southern Kaduna! This is hardly surprising, as shocking as the statistics appear, because this is not the first time the people of Southern Kaduna have been subjected to such lopsided and biased mass action against them. In 1997, Col Hameed Ibrahim Ali, then military governor of Kaduna state, sacked 30,000 protesting civil servants from the state. At the end of the day, more than 80% of the victims were from Southern Kaduna, some of whom were husband and wife! Many of the affected families have not recovered from that devastation!
From the list of those who “passed” the exams the names of those who have long retired from service and even those long dead are among!
We fear that this move by the governor is to flush out into the job market those he perceives as his political enemies even as he prepares to engage his loyalists!
We also found out that Sokoto and Kwara states have conducted similar tests for their teachers in the recent past. But those who failed the test were not sacked but identified for specialized on-the-job training. Why is the case of Kaduna state different?
In the light of the above, we are appalled that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria President Mohammadu Buhari, is reported to have thrown his weight to support Gov El Rufai in this ill-conceived and ill-advised policy!
We hereby unequivocally condemn the sacking of 21,780 teachers from the state for failing a kangaroo exams.
We call on the national and international community to come to the aid of the Southern Kaduna people as Gov Nasiru El Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna state and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have isolated and targeted the people for persecution and possible annihilation, for religious and political reasons! The Governor and the President should be called to order!
Long live Kaduna state
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria