Primary school teachers in Kogi State on Thursday took to major streets in Lokoja to protest their deplorable welfare condition, including the non-payment of their salaries and allowances.
The protesting teachers numbering hundreds and who were from primary and junior secondary schools in the state, also expressed displeasure over the non-payment of the N18, 000 minimum wage.
They marched through major streets in the city in black dresses, chanting anti-government songs and carrying placards with various inscriptions.
However, the protest, was nearly marred at NATACO junction by Lokoja-Abuja road, when two female teachers slumped and fainted while being pursued by policemen, who also fired many teargas canisters into their midst.
The protesters had attempted to block the flow of traffic on the road, a move that was resisted by a combined team of mobile and regular policemen around.
But their colleagues quickly came to their aid and they were revived with the help of some good Samaritans.
One of the protesting teachers, Mrs Asabe Abubakar, later identified one of the policemen that fired the teargas as one of her students at Kabba Primary School, Lokoja, about 16 years ago.
The teachers later left the highway and marched straight to the office of the State Universal Basic Education Board where their leaders were later invited in for a meeting over their grievances.
Mr Sulaiman Yakubu, the Chairman of the state chapter of the Basic Education Staff Association of Nigeria (BESAN), told newsmen that the suffering teachers were being made to go through had become unbearable.
Yakubu said that effective teaching in primary schools in the state had collapsed.
He said that primary and junior secondary schools in the state would remain shut until the minimum wage was fully implemented and their leave allowances for the past five years paid.
He also chided the government for the non-payment of November 2014 salaries to teachers in Okene, Omala, Ofu, Olamaboro and Ajaokuta local governments while all teachers had yet to be paid December 2014 salaries.
Yakubu appealed to government to pay teachers whose names were missing in the payment vouchers for the past four months while also pleading for the payment of gratuity to retired teachers.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of SUBEB, Malam Nuhu Ahmed, could not be reached for his reaction as he was said to be meeting with the leadership of BESAN.