Workers give Okorocha ultimatum to pay salary, pension arrears
• Stop creating tension, govrnor tells Ihedioha as Ohakim sues for peace
Imo State chapters of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC) have given Governor Rochas Okorocha seven days to pay workers and retirees salaries and pension arrears.
This followed their angst over delay in paying them their salaries and pensions, even as they expressed disappointment over the situation, blaming the state’s Accountant General for failure to pay them in spite of representations to his office.A letter jointly signed by state chairmen of the unions, Austin Chilakpu, NkimTangban and Aloy Iwuanyanwu respectively, stated that the reasons for failure to pay workers’ salaries and retirees there pensions were unacceptable to organised labour.
They argued that continued delay of payment despite receiving allocations of local councils, 13 per cent derivation, ecological fund and internally generated revenue (IGR), among others, was not justifiable.When contacted, Secretary to the State Government, Mark Uchendu, said the ultimatum was not necessary, as the state government has no intention of owing workers. He assured that the salaries would be paid before the end of the week and asked the unions to exercise a little patience.
“Government is willing to pay and we will pay. We are working on that and before Friday, hopefully we will sort it out. There is no reason for workers to raise alarm because they know we have never owed them,” he said.Besides, Okorocha has urged the Imo Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and governor-elect, Emeka Ihedioha, to stop creating unnecessary tension in the state.He made the call in a statement issued yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, noting that their unguarded utterances were becoming very disturbing and capable of causing disharmony in the state and beyond.
Meanwhile, a former Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim, has urged all governorship candidates who lost in the last elections, but currently challenging the declaration of PDP’s governorship standard-bearer, Emeka Ihedioha, as winner, to withdraw their cases and support the governor-elect.In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Collins Ughalaa, the former governor, who contested under Accord Party, argued that Ihedioha did not need distractions, advising that he should be allowed to remain focused to hit the ground running from May 29, 2019.
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