The planned demonstration by the Concerned Teachers yesterday to march to the office of the Minister of Education was aborted by the Police.
The Teachers were to assemble at the Victoria Park where they were supposed to have processed to the Ministry of Education. The Teachers were first denied access in to the Park.
The acting Chairman of the Concerned Teachers, L.M Fadika addressed his colleagues that a certain Police officer received their letter but that the letter was not timely. He also told them that the officer told him that he was not against the procession but because of the present political fracas, it would be dangerous for them to stage any protest. He said the Police officer told him that he would cooperate with them on any date given by them to have their procession.
Inspector A.T Kamanoh, the acting operations commander, central Police Station, told the Teachers that it was heart rendering for someone to go without salaries stating that he taught for ten years, but went for three years without pay. A reason, he said which caused him to leave the teaching field for the Police.
He told the teachers that the “the present situation we are facing now, whether your procession is peaceful or otherwise, we, in the name of peace, progress, unity within teachers and parents as well, we will not give you that mandate for you to go on with this procession” he told them.
Inspector Kamanoh explained that “the main reason is that, you may be thinking in good faith, but what about the hooligans that will be at the back” he asked? He told them to go home peacefully and to later listen to their executives.
Abdul Razak Kamara, the Secretary General of the Concerned Teachers blamed the SLTU of undermining their efforts and stated the authorities have failed them in all negotiations.
Jonh Bobson Sesay, a concerned teacher told Awoko that they had gathered to register their grievances to the Ministry of Education to know that they do not need the present SLTU executive. He referred to the SLTU as not representing the 33,000 teacher membership. Bobson referred to the SLTU as in negligence to the plight of the teachers and stated they were going to tell the minister that they needed improvement in the profession.
By Ishmael Bayoh