By Alexsey Belan

May Day as a public holiday was first declared by the People Redemption Party government of Kano State in 1980. It became a national holiday on May 1, 1981. The holiday is also known as International Worker Day, May Day or Labor Day, and is marked as a public holiday in more than 80 countries.

The first ever May Day celebrations focused on workers took place on May 1st 1890, after its proclamation by the first international congress of socialist parties in Europe on July 14th 1889 in Paris, France to dedicate May 1st every year as the Workers Day of International unity and solidarity.

In 1884 the American Federation of organized Trades and Labor Unions demanded an eight hour working day, to come in effect as of May 1st 1886. This resulted in the general strike and the Haymarket in Chicago Riot of 1886, but eventually also in the official sanction of the eight-hour day.

Just like the Chicago protest; the aggrieved Primary School teachers in Kaduna State wrote the Commissioner of Police (20th April, 2022) signifying their intent to embark on a two-day peaceful protest. This protest has become necessary due to the persistent delay of salary payments and unlawful deductions of N19, 970.35 naira from Primary School teacher’s salary for over a year, and this deduction is not reflecting in the pay slips. This is a violation of Pay Roll Legislation and Employment Rights Act. Also a contravention of section 1 subsections 1b of Labor Act.

Teachers in Kaduna State often have to work for about two months before getting one month pay, except for Ikara Local Government Chairman Hon. Dr. Ibrahim Salihu who recently paid salary on time. This prompted his branch wing of teachers to write him a letter of appreciation. Isn’t it hilarious that teacher’s euphoria for prompt payment calls for thanksgiving!

This peaceful protest is meant to enforce the constitutional removal of SUBEB (state universal basic education board) Chairman under whose knowledge these criminal acts are taking place. But the protest was turned down by the Nigeria Police Force. Kadsubeb in a counter report stated that the delay in salary payments is caused by the Local Governments and also that they do not deduct any money except expressly requested by the staff.

The NUT Kaduna Chapter said they are not aware of any grievances of her members. This is a blatant lie. The episodes of attacks and counter-attacks reflect the idea of Marxism and Engels in their pamphlet titled, “The Manifesto of the communist party”, argued that growing inequality in society would eventually results in workers rising up and overthrowing the system, ultimately resulting in a classless society”.

It is important to note that over 30,000 primary school teachers are under the heels of SUBEB Chairman Mr. TIJJANI MOHAMMED ABDULLAHI, a retired Banker. The reader can join the group Facebook blog named, “All Kaduna SUBEB Teachers’ Forum to verify these facts. They have many groups chat platform. An astute Teacher stated, “one thing we the New Teachers must know is that:

1. Our job is totally unsecure as soon as Governor El Rufai leaves office without confirming us. The new government will certainly either cut down labor or decide to embark on her own recruitment. It will only be share luck if the new government confirms us. (We pray our case don’t become like the defunct Sure-p, You win, Napep programs)

2. The unremitted deducted  pension also becomes difficult for a new SUBEB Chairman to pay up if we don’t make this SUBEB pay at least half of the overall deductions. 

3. As election draws near and most Politicians are shifting attention from governance to politicking, we must take necessary action to ensure that there is synergy between the tiers of government and every stakeholder perform their obligations as required. This will forestall gap in the system.

4. Putting our destiny in the hands of NUT is as good as a cow putting her life in the hands of a butcher (NUT is a dog that has neither mouth not to talk of teeth, it can neither bark nor bite. It’s a mystery how it can feed fat on Endwell and Dues even without mouth)

5. A protest turned down by NPF is not the end of the road, in fact, it’s a direct message to us to take the battle to the actors directly without the public, and we must put pressure on the SUBEB Chairman to either resign or make the board work for the benefit of teachers.

More than 70% of Nigerians work in organizations without Pension Schemes, life saving support schemes, Health insurance, etc, and are not protected from the bullying of the bourgeois who treat staff like slaves. This class struggle is seen in ASUU, JUSUN, JOHESU, AHPA, to mention but a few unending strike actions that shut down our institutions and drives us towards a retrogressive path.

The Primary School teachers believe the state government may not be aware of this mishap and hopes this publication serves as a foray to end this unfortunate developments. The Pandora box is opening up in Kaduna State over the haze of a planned protest. This planned protest was cancelled by the police force. In a democratic and civic society.

If workers grievances cannot be expressed openly in a peaceful protest, class conflicts will continue and these can birth all forms of vices. To cap the maxim, Karl and Engels succinctly opined, “Workers of the world must unite! You have nothing to lose but your Chains”.


(c) Alexsey Belan, Workers Day 2022.

PS… the writer is an investigative Maven. He can be reached via  alexey@belan.su  or  alexeybelan@deputy.com

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