By Demola Akinyemi
Kwara State Police Command on Wednesday arrested six protesting teachers who were sacked by the state government last year December because their recruitment was fraught with irregularities.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the six teachers who were seen to be the leaders of about fifty protesters were arrested in front of the government House in Ilorin.
According to the statement issued by the spokesman of the state police command, DSP Kayode Okasanmi, the suspects in police custody are Mrs Aransiola Olubukun, Mr Salaudeen Abubakar, and Mr Mohammed Soliu.
Others are Mr Ibahim Alabi, Mr Isiaka Toyin, and Mr Adewale Abdulazeez.
But the state chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Chief Olu Adewara in his reaction said the protesters did not carry the union along because they were not their members.
He explained that the appointments of the over 5,000 Sunset teachers who were recruited by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed in the twilight of his administration were not confirmed before the present administration sack them.
He said, “After working for two years, their appointments should be confirmed before they become our members, but their appointments were not confirmed because they didn’t work up till two years before they were sacked. Despite that, I swallowed my pride as a chief and knelt down for The Speaker, before they were paid seven months of their salaries.
“I learned they applied in the current recruitment exercise but that those who were not lucky to be invited for interview were those protesting, legally there is nothing we can do as a union, though we feel for them.”
The police spokesman, Ajayi Okasanmi in the statement made available to journalists in Ilorin said the suspects were arrested, “for violating the COVID-19 protocols as directed by the Federal and the State Government respectfully.”
The statement also said that “This offense was committed in the process of an alleged protest by a group called the ‘Sunset’ teachers in Ilorin metropolis.
“Not only did they run foul of the COVID-19 guidelines, but they also in their multitude blocked the popular Ahmadu Bello way Ilorin, thereby preventing lawful users of the road of their rights of passage by disturbing the public peace which is in contravention of Section 113 of the penal code.”
It also said that “The good people of Kwara may recall that the purported protest has been ongoing for almost a week without any interference from security agencies.
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