Judex Okoro, Calabar
Civil servants in Cross River, yesterday protested their alleged sack by state government.
The workers numbering over 500, mostly teachers and lawyers, took to the streets of Calabar and marched to the governor’s office protesting the alleged sack of about 2,000 workers said to be employed in 2015, alleging that they are ghost workers.
Government House sources revealed to Daily Sun that the government can no longer meet up with its finical commitments due to the fall in revenue as well as the fear of increase in wage bill following the minimum wage bill’s implementation.
The source added Governor Ben Ayade discreetly gave a directive that all those employed then be removed from pay roll since September 2019.
Speaking on behalf of the teachers at the gate of governor’s office, Henry Abu of Government Girls’ Secondary School, Biq Qua town, Calabar, said they have not been paid for two years as their names have been removed from pay roll without due process.
Abu said: “We are protesting because from investigations, we found out that our names were removed from pay roll without due process. Initially, we thought it was a lie but it is confirmed now, and our children are suffering. We cannot pay their school fees.
“Our governor promised us food on the table, but now we cannot even eat from the crumbs. This same crowd you see today stood with him yet he has pulled us out of service. We are not happy at all because we feel betrayed.
“We still wonder whether he is the one that did it and that is why we are here to complain and if he is not the one, he should please reinstate us because we did not commit any offence to have voted for him for the second time.”
Also, Clement Abu, from Technical Education Board, said: “All Ayade needed to do was to confirm all employments done in 2015 before he took office. He didn’t do that and went ahead to start paying because he wanted second term. Immediately he got the second term ticket, he started complaining of ghost workers. This singular act of removing our names from pay roll has destroyed all his good works.”
Speaking on behalf of the protesting lawyers, Roselin Inameti, said not less than 40 of them were affected by the delisting “and this is after working for more than three years and after we had gone through the process of employment.”
Supporting the ongoing revalidation exercise in a private Radio, Hit FM, interactive session in Calabar, the governor Senior Special Adviser on Payroll, John Odey, said the revalidation exercise is an ongoing process and it is yielding result as it has been identifying ghost workers.