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Hardship, non-payment of gratuity: Retired Nigerian teacher curses ex-Governor, others



A retired school teacher and former acting education secretary of Kogi State, Imam Idanaku has taken to social media to curse those behind the non-payment of his gratuity despite working for 35 years.

Mr Idanaku who claimed he was employed in 1976 as an auxiliary teacher and retired in 2017 lamented how he served the state government for decades without any improved welfare.

He said, “Whoever doomed me to work for 35 years without gratuity will live long with a miserable life.”


One of Mr Idanaku’s posts of Facebook

He narrated that when he started working as a teacher, their monthly salary was enough to live a comfortable life but the teachers’ welfare began to deteriorate in the state as different administrations came and left.

He continued: “The teaching profession, which used to be so nice, now turned to be a bitter pill. Salary was no longer regularly paid. As a result, I decided to acquire some skills to support my livelihood as salary was no longer predictable. I took many risks traveling to places I never knew. All I did was to sleep in the community mosques. I traveled to places like Lagos, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Onitsha, Abba, Ikare, Akure, and Kabba to acquire some skills.

“Alhamdulillah, from these journeys, I was able to acquire skills like Drawing, Photography, Printing, Serigraphic works (Screen printing), Carving, Sculpture, Wood Lamination, Textile printing, and Dyeing, etc. All these skills assisted me greatly in overcoming teachers’ related poverty.

“When Igala governors were upon us one after another, teachers’ conditions deteriorated. They worsened our condition to the extent that we never could predict our payday. Empty promotions without financial backing were the order of the day. Leave bonus or Leave grants disappeared. Gratuity became a matter of an ancient story. I personally don’t believe in Tribal politics. At a point in time, I started to nurse some unrealistic dreams, thinking that if an Ebira man is made the governor of the state, teachers’ conditions of service would definitely improve.

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“So, I went into fervent prayer for an Ebira governor. The happiest day of my life was the day Yahaya Bello was sworn in as the governor of Kogi state. Teachers were heard all over the places saying “Our suffering is gone”. I nearly gave a deadly or a dirty slap, as you may call it, to my intimate friend (not a teacher) who said while we were all jubilating that our hope was just an unrealistic dream. Truly when Yahaya Bello came, screening upon screening was his achievement. We stayed more than 19 months without a salary, which has never happened in Kogi state.”

He also narrated how he was borrowing funds to run the affairs of his office when he was appointed as the State Acting Education Secretary because the government did not release funds to cater for his welfare and administrative duties.

He continued, “Most unfortunately, I was made an Acting Education Secretary without any official car and without receiving any overhead, which used to be the pride of the lofty office. I had to go borrowing to run the office at the most turbulent time of the screening exercise. All these man-made sufferings came at a time when I had four children in tertiary institutions.

“I was crying, my children were crying. My major fear this time was the fear of letting my children withdraw from their institutions. That would be too dangerous between the father and child. I could not do my little business to support the family because I was all the time going to Government House Lokoja to attend to one problem or the other as the Acting ES.

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“Here the suffering continued without any hope of coming out of it. If there’s anything I detest most, it’s begging for alms. Since my childhood, I hate begging. That’s why God made me creative. This time around, I became a beggar at a time when I was supposed to be supportive of my impoverished siblings.

“The worst of my ordeals in the unwholesome government came after retirement. I retired in 2017, and my pension was not paid until after twelve calendar months. And it has been coming in an exiguous percentage. Up till now, we can’t even think of our gratuity, which amounts to eight million naira. Right now, because of these ugly experiences, I have developed some ill health coupled with insomnia and general debility.”

“No money to go for medical check-ups and so I’m doomed to die gradually. Whoever doomed me to work for 35 years without gratuity will live long with a miserable life,” he added in the post sighted by DDM.

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