Protesting workers shut down Government Secretariat over unpaid salaries
Hundreds of aggrieved civil servants, on Monday, shutdown the Secretariat of the Cross River State government in Calabar to protest years of unpaid salaries.
The protesters locked up the gate of the new State secretariat preventing workers from gaining access to the facility.
The aggrieved workers, who carried placards with different inscriptions, “Pay us our three years backlog of arrears and salaries”, and “We even work harder than the politicians you flood in government”, claimed they were engaged into state civil service in 2018 and yet to receive a dime as salary.
They called for proactive action by the state governor, Ben Ayade, so that their salaries will be paid.
Their coordinator, David Iyaya, said that he was shocked that he and his colleagues, who had in the last three years and six months rendered their services across various state government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) can still be owed by the state government without concern about their welfare.
“We were engaged into the civil service since 2018 and given appointment letters. As I speak with you, nothing had been paid us,” Iyaya added.
He said that he and his members decided to lead a peaceful protest to the office of Head of Service (HoS) to remind the state governor that they were yet to be attended to.
“We call on the state governor to sack the Special Adviser to the Governor on Payroll Matters, Mr. John Odey, for failing for the good of state workers,” he demanded.
But, reacting to the protest, Cross River State Head of Service, Mr. Timothy Ogbang Akwaji, stated that the employment of the protesters lacked approval of the state governor.
“Those are not my workers. But they say they have appointment letters even though I have not sighted it.
“They are flaunting appointment letters, unfortunately his Excellency the governor has stated that he did not give authorisation.
“So, if you have appointment letter into the service and the governor said he did not authorise, then what you are holding amounts to nothing.
“The governor did address 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 is unnecessary,” Akwaji stated.