Teachers in Lagos State have described the food items they received as COVID-19 palliatives as a slap on their faces.
On Monday, November 16, 2020, many primary school teachers in Ojo Local Government Area of the state received one sachet of noodles and one sachet of cabin biscuit as palliatives.
According to sources, who spoke to Pulse on condition of anonymity, many teachers rejected the items that were said to have been sent to them from the office of the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in the Local Government.
A teacher, who preferred anonymity said the NUT Chairman, Mr Tajudeen Oladipupo received the food items from the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board.
Dismayed by the quantity of the food items given to them as COVID-19 palliatives, a teacher at Estate Primary School, Isashi said, “I must confess, it’s a slap on our face. You can imagine a teacher given a sachet of Indomie and a N10 cabin biscuit as palliatives. Where is that done on earth? That is what we are facing at Ojo LGA.”
The teacher said they were told that noodles and biscuits were shared because other food items like rice and garri had gone bad.
He alleged that the food items were shared because the state government plans to probe the NUT authorities for allegedly hoarding palliatives meant for teachers in the state.
Another teacher, who is a staff member of Local Authority Primary School, Etegbin told Pulse that he received a total of N140 worth of palliatives.
He said all teachers at the school were given two sachets of noodles and two sachets of cabin biscuits, adding that his colleagues in other schools told him that they received one sachet of noodles and a sachet of biscuit.
While teachers at the over 50 primary schools in Ojo Local Government received their negligible palliatives in sachets, some primary school tutors in Oshodi-Isolo area of the state got more palliatives, as each teacher reportedly got half a carton of noodles and also went home with N2,000.
Reacting to the teachers’ claims, Oladipupo, the NUT Chairman in Ojo LGA said any teacher that received a sachet of noodles as palliatives should have complained to him first.
He said, “That is not true. When I got the palliatives from our state office, I moved them straight to the office of the Chairman, Association of Nigerian Primary School Teachers, who also doubles as the Chairman of headteachers in Ojo Local Government, and I handed them over to him and took some snapshots with him and the Deputy Chairman, and nobody has reported anything to me, if they have reported to you and have not reached out to me, I don’t think I have anything to say about it”.
Asked when he received the palliatives from the state office of the NUT, Oladipupo said he got them about two weeks ago, adding that it is possible for some teachers to receive their share of the palliatives two weeks after because there are so many schools in the local government and all teachers could not have received the palliatives at the same time.
“We have about 54 primary schools in Ojo, and there is no way we could have asked all of them to come and collect it at the same time, perhaps they collected in batches”.
Oladipupo admitted that the palliatives he received could not have been sufficient for teachers in the area.
He also debunked the claim that teachers in Oshodi-Isolo Local Government went home with N2000 and more noodles as palliatives because he has been discussing with the Chairman of the NUT in the area and he has not mentioned anything like that.
The NUT Chairman, however, insisted he won’t believe the claim that primary school teachers in Ojo received one sachet of noodles with a sachet of biscuits until the teachers come to him to report the case.
He said, “If it is true, I or the NUT Ojo should have been the first organisation they will report to. I have not received any complaints up till now. It shouldn’t be you that will report their case to me. Let me receive their complaints, then I will believe it”.
Oladipupo also said the Chairman of headteachers in Ojo, who shared the palliatives to his executives confirmed to him that no primary school teacher in the area was given a sachet of noodles as palliatives, adding that the teachers might be playing politics.
Asked to tell what was shared at the school headed by the Chairman of headteachers in Ojo LGA, Oladipupo said he is more interested in knowing the teachers that reported the case to Pulse.
Source: Disturbing Lagos