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Cross River “workers” protest over alleged unpaid 4 years salaries

By Guardian Nigeria
28 March 2022   |   5:21 pm
Some persons claiming to be civil servants, on Monday protested before the office of the Head of Service (HOS) of Cross River, over alleged unpaid four years salaries by the state government.

Some persons claiming to be civil servants, on Monday protested before the office of the Head of Service (HOS) of Cross River, over alleged unpaid four years salaries by the state government.

The protesters carried placards in Calabar with inscriptions such as “over four years without salary,” who did we offend?,” “we go to work every day.”

Other placards carried by the protesters who sang solidarity songs borèthe inscriptions: “the injustice is too much,” “a labourer deserves his wages.”

The Coordinator of the protest, Mr. David Iyaya, said the aggrieved “civil servants” were from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Iyaya claimed that they were employed by the state in 2018, but had not received a dime since their employment.

According to him, they were on a peaceful protest to the office of the HOS to let him and the world know that they were suffering.

He also called for the sack of Mr John Odey, the Special Adviser to Gov. Ben Ayade on Payroll Matters, whom he blamed for not fighting for the good of workers in the state.

“We are here to vent our anger. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed, but instead of sticking to it, government is calling for new recruitment.

“We want John Odey to be sacked. He is the SA on payroll and we expected him to mediate between us and the government as a former labour person, but the reverse is the case.

“We are so disappointed in him. We have lost four of our members; one just died last week at the teaching hospital,” Iyaya lamented.

Reacting to the protest, the HOS, Mr Ogbang Akwaji, said the protesters were not workers as they claimed.

“These are not my workers but they say they have appointment letters even though I have not sighted them.

“There is nothing new about this calibre of persons. They are flaunting appointment letters but the governor clearly stated that he did not give authorisation for their employment.

“So if you have an appointment letter into the service and the governor said he did not authorise it then what you are holding amounts to nothing.

“The governor addressed them at the stadium and labour listed their matter as one of the items in the memorandum of understanding and we are on it.

“This protest is unnecessary but we will engage them at the appropriate time,” the HOS explained.

It will be recalled that workers in the state under the aegis of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TLC) went on a month’s strike in 2021 over unpaid salary arrears, among other issues.

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