The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic, College of Health Technology Branch on Wednesday led thousands of workers, both sacked and serving on protest to various streets and the Governor’s Office in Calabar.
The unions officials, who gathered their members (sacked and serving) in front of U. J. Esuene Stadium on Wednesday, moved to the Governor’s Office, disrupting traffics in the streets of Calabar and official duties.
At every point of their gathering, the spokesperson for the unions, Comrade Emmanuel Enegieor of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, College of Health Technology branch, lamented the sack of hundreds of members of the unions.
“In the month of September, our staff were dropped from the payroll without any form of notification, they only wake up to see that their colleagues got salaries and they did not get.
“When we demanded, a comrade who was suppose to be one of us, notified us that he was appointed a Senior Special Assistant on Payroll to Governor Ben Ayade and the Governor asked him to drop all the salaries of people from the year 2015 till date, we are not comfortable.”
Speaking at the Governor’s Office, Comrade Enegieor, said, “We were told by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Payroll that the revalidation that brought about dropping of our members will not last but the month of October came salaries were paid.
“Our members were being owed September and October and we are saying that their children are still at home, they cannot go back to school and they have not eaten for 2 months, they have parents who depend on them and they have landlord whom they are owing.
“Governor Ayade had promised us that he will not allow any Cross Riverian to go to sleep without food on his table and for 4 years he kept to his promise and so we don’t believe this is coming from him, but if this was coming from him, your Excellency please recall them and pay them their salaries. They are not ghost workers,” he stated.
Addressing the protesters on behalf of Governor Ben Ayade, the Permanent Secretary in charge of Special Duties and Security Adviser to the Governor, Dr Alfred Mboto, pleaded with the protested unions and her members to exercise patience and promised to channel their protest to the Governor.
“Sometimes, issue happen because there is breach in communication, it is true that the government is doing an exercise to do some streamlining, but let me assure all of us here there is no one here that is going to be retrenched.
“There is no one that was dismissed, the exercise, though it is not supposed to take this long, in a very short time, conclusion will be done, the message here are very touching.”
He promised to deliver thier protest letter to the Governor.