The governorship candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in Bayelsa State, Udengs Eradiri, has sympathised with teachers in the state for what he described as their years of suffering and hardship under the administration of Governor Douye Diri.
2023 Teachers Day, vowed that if elected on November 11, he would wipe away the tears of all the teachers in the state.
The LP candidate, who described teachers as the pillar and backbone of all the sectors in the state, said in line with his People, Education, Agriculture and Power, PEAP, Agenda, teachers would occupy a special place in his government.
Eradiri said with the humongous resources accruing to the state every month, Bayelsa teachers had no business complaining about non-payment of promotional arrears, minimum wage, paltry salary scale, non-implementation of increase in retirement age, lack of adequate training and retraining among other challenges.
He noted that while some states had implemented the Federal Government approved retirement age from 60 to 65 years and from 35 to 40 years, the current Bayelsa government had refused to do so.
LP candidate observed that many teachers were working under poor environmental conditions characterised by decaying infrastructures, dearth of teaching materials and poor welfare, especially in the rural areas where he said some children were still learning under the trees and market squares.
“Our teachers deserve more. They are supposed to be the happiest in the country following the huge resources accruing to the state. Unfortunately, this clueless, incompetent government; this selfish government has denied teachers their pride of place in the state”, he said.
Eradiri further claimed that Diri does not have any deliberate policy document on the educational development of the state, and insisted that Bayelsa was in dire need of a clear direction, road map and actionable plan to develop the educational sector and improve teachers welfare.
The LP candidate appealed to the teachers not to be deceived by whatever good gestures that are coming from the government ahead of the election, describing them as desperate measures to win the forthcoming poll.
Addressing the teachers, he said: “Whatever they are promising to do for you now is fake. It is because they want to deceive you again to vote for them. You have been crying over your challenges but they turned deaf ears to your demands. Suddenly, they are coming to make fake promises to you.
“Don’t allow them deceive you again. Whatever they couldn’t do for you three years ago and they are making promises to do them now; it is because another election is around the corner and they need your votes.
“If you mistakenly return them, they will surely abandon you again.
“But I am offering you a better alternative, an opportunity for us to build our education on a solid foundation.
” I have signed a pact with you to make your welfare our priority, to address all your challenges and make you work under environment with globally accepted standard. I am calling on teachers to better the future of their children by voting for me and the LP because I will not disappoint you.”