Teachers at the Federal Government Girls College, Calabar, yesterday marched to the Governor’s Office and Cross River House of Assembly to protest against alleged assault by officers of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The protesting teachers were joined by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), led by its state chairman, Clarkson Otu and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) led by state chairman, Eyo-Nsa Itam.
Otu said they came to demand for a thorough investigation of the matter and to call for justice. According to the TUC chief, “We are here to register our grievances over the invasion of FGGC Calabar on February 2 by officials of DSS, where they flogged a teacher before his students. And when other teachers demanded to know why, they were beaten thoroughly including a vice principal of the school.”
He added: “We have come to demand for a thorough investigation of the matter by the authorities and the culprits brought book. We demand that this matter must not be swept under the carpet. That is why we are here,” he said.
The TUC chairman said that the teacher was beaten for disciplining his student, who, thereafter, made a call to her mother and she in turn contacted her sister, who is a DSS official.
Some of the protesters carried placards, which read: “Stop this oppression,” “Enough is enough,’ “No more oppression from DSS,” among others.
The protesters submitted a letter, which was received by the Clerk of the house on behalf of the speaker, who was not available.
The Clerk, Bassey Ekpenyong, commended the TUC for the peaceful protest, describing the DSS action as very unfortunate. He said teachers should be treated with dignity.
“I want to assure you that we will ensure that justice is done in this case. We will ensure that nothing but justice is done,” he said.
At the Governor’s Office, a director in the office of the State Security Adviser, Mr. Etam Eno, received the protesters letter and promised to convey it to the governor, who is out of the country.