Abeokuta – The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) on Thursday condemned what it called the “disrespectful” action of teachers in Ogun during the 2016 World Teachers Day Celebration on Oct. 5 in Abeokuta.

The National President of NUT, Mr Michael Olukoya, who chided the teachers at a press conference in Abeokuta, described their action as “unfortunate and regrettable.’’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government on Monday dismissed the state Chairman of NUT, Mr Dare Ilekoya, and 14 other members of the union over their roles during the celebration.

The dismissal followed government’s approval of the recommendation of the panel of inquiry set up by the government which found the teachers guilty of misconduct at the programme which was said to have been turned to a “political campaign rally.’’

Olukoya recalled that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NUT had at its earlier meeting resolved for a low-key celebration.

“Unfortunately, Ogun chapter decided to have an elaborate celebration in which it got its fingers burnt in the process as the teachers were caught in the web of political commentaries adjudged to be offensive to government functionaries in attendance.

“The national leadership of NUT condemns this unfortunate development in its entirety as it does not conform with the usual traditions and norms of the celebration.

“We are sad over the development in the state as the union is not comfortable with a situation of estranged relationship with the state government,” he said.

Olukoya who said that the union received the sack of 15 and suspension of 19 of its members from the state civil service with sadness, however, admitted that “government’s action was justified” in the circumstance.

The chairman, however, apologised on behalf of the erring teachers and asked for clemency from Gov. Ibikunle Amosun.

NAN recalls that the governor, while addressing newsmen after a meeting with labour on Wednesday in Abeokuta, said he was infuriated at the action of the teachers whom he accused of “mixing politics with civil service.’’

When asked whether they would be reinstated, he said: ” The teachers were not dismissed because of workers’ strike action, but we shall see what is possible.’’