Civil servants protest against exclusion from list of recalled workers in Delta
Following the Delta State Government’s reinstatement of 450 disengaged civil servants last week, over 3,000 suspended civil servants who were affected by the mass purge yesterday protested against their ordeal in Asaba. Specifically, they protested against alleged irregularities in the recruitment process when Governor Ifeanyi Okowa took over in 2015.
The affected civil servants, who were employed at the close of former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration in 2014, were suspended when the Okowa administration assumed office. And following public outcry, the state government set up a committee last year to review the employment with a view to reinstating the affected workers.
The recommendation led to the recall of some of the affected employees and the list of those recalled, which was released at the weekend has generated protests by the suspended workers who alleged that over 90 percent of them were excluded from the list of 450.
They also alleged that politicians hijacked the review process by smuggling names of their cronies into the list, leaving out genuine workers who were initially suspended.
In a joint statement by the Chairman of the group, Obus Regha, Secretary, Emiajevoke Onokpasa and Public Relations Officer, Akpochimora Timothy, the affected workers insisted that the list of the recalled workers has over 90 per cent of persons who neither applied for the job, nor were screened in 2014.
“The list was allegedly doctored at the state Civil Service Commission after the nine-man review committee set up by Governor Okowa did a thorough job to ensure that only those qualified among the 2014 applicants were recommended for a recall,” the statement added.
They threatened to sue the state government if the issue was not revisited to ensure justice and fairness for all, saying, “We have proof of those who did not primarily apply for the job, but were reinstated. We will not relent in our struggle until justice is done.“We know that the governor is unaware of the malpractice that has taken place as 90 per cent of the original list was altered, and unknown names of people who did not apply for the job were used to replace those who merited it.
“There are names that even appeared twice, which has vindicated our position that the final process lacked transparency. We will do everything within legal means to reclaim our God given jobs. “We, therefore, call on all suspended civil servants whose names are not on the list of those recalled to remain calm, steadfast and pray fervently for divine intervention,” they stated.
While addressing the protesters at the state Civil Service Commission headquarters in Asaba, Permanent Secretary, Frederick Yoro, assured them that government would review and act on their grievances.