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February 21, 2017

Ehime Mbano boils as council workers protest non payment of salaries …Two Staff collapse

Agitating workers of Ehime Mbano Local Government Council took to the street and shutdown the Council Secretariat over the non-payment of 3 months salaries in arrears, allowances and other emoluments.

The protesting workforce, in their numbers, locked up offices and barricaded the Council Secretariat protesting what they called callous and degrading in human treatment being meted out to them by the Transition Commission Chairman, Hon. Chike Orjiakor who they accused of treating workers with levity, contempt, odium and derision since assumption of office over a year ago.

The aggrieved workers sang anti-government and pro-labour songs, decried the agonizing experiences of members who are suffering untold hardship and starvation as a result of the non regular payments of salaries, entitlements and backlog of arrears of both leave and promotion entitlements.

The workers spoke through the Chairman of Staff Welfare Association Comrade Boniface Onwuzuruike on Wednesday October 12th 2016. According to him, the workers protest is predicated upon the hunger, frustration and deprivation being inflicted on them and their families as a result of the nonpayment of 3 months salaries and sundry allowances.

He was emotional describing the agonizing experience of members of his association who can no longer meet their financial responsibilities to their families especially now schools have resumed. Comrade Onwuzurike observed that the Council Management has consistently failed to pay salaries as at when due since assumption of office by the incumbent T.C. Chairman, Hon Chike Orjiakor. He observed that the exorbitant cost of living, the diminishing value of the naira coupled with the 7O% being paid as salaries; the entire workers in Ehime Mbano LGA are facing excruciating agony, hunger and deprivations.

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He laments that while other 26 Council Areas have been paid up to date; Ehime Mbano workers were facing a deplorable decadent plight. The workers posited that they will continue to barricade and paralyse the activities of the Council/ until they were paid up to date because every worker deserves his wage, he insists.

The Leader overheard the new Divisional Police Officer (DPO) advise the protesting workers to ensure peaceful conduct, observance of decorum, discipline and free flow of traffic during the protest. He sympathised with the workers, observing that payment of workers’ salaries is exigent and sacrosanct.

In his contribution, Comrade Ogujiofo Theodore, the Financial Secretary of the Association observes that other LGA’S in Imo State have paid salaries while the reverse is the case in Ehime Mbano. He enjoined the authorities to help ensure Local Government Autonomy and fiscal federalism of three tiers is enhanced so as to remove reckless meddlesomeness by the executives in the affairs of subordinating unit

He decried the ban on internally generated revenue (IGR) by the State Government which has negatively affected the councils as they cannot generate income. It is note — worthy that the two workers who collapse during the protest under scorching sun, Comrade Uche Anugom and Christopher Onwuliri were quickly giving first aid before being taken to the Hospital for medi-care.



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