Over 500 Cross River State sacked science teachers and lawyers yesterday stormed the gate of Governor’s office Calabar, barricading the entrance of the governor’s office, disrupted vehicular movement and alleged that their names had mysteriously disappeared from the state payroll.
The protesters numbering up to five hundred had first gone to the Accountant General’s office and locked the gate before proceeding to the governor’s office which is a stone- throw.
One of the victims who spoke on behalf of protesters (science teachers), Mr. Henry Abuh stated that they were employed in 2016 by Gov. Ben Ayade, stressing that they went through the processes of employment, only for the special Adviser to the Governor on payroll, Mr. John Odey to delete their names from the payroll.
Abuh stressed that since September, that no alert concerning payment of salary had entered their phones adding that upon investigation to ascertain what had gone wrong with regards to payment of salaries, that it was discovered that their names had mysteriously disappeared from the state’s payroll.
The victim said, “We went through painstaking process before we were employed as science teachers and we have our confirmation letters issued to us by government. We were surprised to discover that the SA to Ayade on payroll removed our names and since September, we have not received alert,”.
He said that the state government had embarked on the recruitment of science teachers before Senator Liyel Imoke left office and when the present governor assumed office, he also embarked on the recruitment of science teachers, wandering why the government had to remove their names from payroll.
“The state lacked science teachers and that was why both Senator Imoke and Prof. Ayade embarked on the recruitment of science teachers. We went through very rigorous exercises and we were even given our confirmation letter. We have been working for two months now without alert while our colleagues have been paid. We will not stop protesting until we are paid,”
Another victim who spoke on behalf of the aggrieved Lawyers, Barr. Roselin Inameti stated that not less than forty of them were affected by the delisting “and this is after working for more than three years”.
Inameti added that if the government was looking for a way of fishing out ghost workers, “they know what to do and not to come and distort work and daily bread.”
The lawyer averred that the 40 lawyers involved in the issue would continue to protest until they are duly restored.
Inameti frowned at the injustice done on them by the state government and said, “I was in Imo State when I had to apply for this job as state Counsel. I went through a rigorous exercise before being employed. I cannot imagine somebody saying that I am a ghost worker. We are supposed to be in the court to defend the state but we are here protesting because somebody decided to be mischievous.”
In his remarks, the permanent Secretary who addressed the protesters in the office of State Security Adviser (SSA), Mr. Alfred Mboto promised to take their case to the governor.
Mboto assured the protesters, that their case would be looked into on the basis of merit, and said, “You have not been disengaged or sacked. Everything you have raised would be looked into dispassionately.”
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