Civil servants protest against non-payment of four-year salaries in Cross River
Lawan swears in Jarigbe
No fewer than 1,000 civil servants in Cross River State, yesterday, protested against the non-payment of their four-year salaries.
Drawn from the 18 councils of the state, the civil servants barricaded all the gates of the state’s New Secretariat along the Murtala Mohammed Highway in Calabar with various banners and placards.
Leader of the protesters, Comrade David Iyanya, said: “We are civil servants in the 18 councils of Cross River State. We have been owed salaries for four years dating back to 2015 and 2018. It is said that for four years, we have stayed without salaries, yet we come to work every day.
“The state Head of Service (HoS) told us that we would be paid in August and we believed her only to discover that they were lies. Today, we have mothers, fathers, and children here and school is resuming soon, how do we feed?”
Another protester, Comrade Okoi Iferi, said former Governor Liyel Imoke employed them, but their names were dropped from the payroll in 2018/2019, adding that in August 2020, they were summoned for a screening and verification exercise, which was attended by 1, 500 civil servants.
He lamented that some names were omitted from the payroll, but the former HoS, Dr. Chris Ita, said it was an error and that it would be corrected.
The HoS, Geraldine Akpet-Ekanem could not be reached for her reaction, but Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita, said the workers’ fresh demands and claims were strange.
MEANWHILE, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has finally sworn in Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, as representative of Cross River North Senatorial District.
Jarigbe took the oath of office administered by the Clerk of the Senate, Ibrahim Dauda El-Ladan about 11:19 am immediately after commencement of plenary.
His swearing-in is coming on the heels of a ruling by the Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar on July 30, 2021, which declared Jarigbe winner of the December 5th, 2020, Cross River North Senatorial By-election.
Jarigbe, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) replaced Stephen Odey.
The Guardian recalled that the Court of Appeal in its ruling delivered by Justice Chioma I. Nwosu, nullified the certificate of return (COR) the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) earlier issued to Odey.
Consequently, INEC directed that the certificate be withdrawn, thereby suffering a his second loss when the Court of Appeal, Abuja dismissed his application, asking the court to review its earlier judgment which declared Jarigbe, as PDP’s rightful candidate in the December 2020 by-election.