Imo State Government which governor Rochas Okorocha superintends, has dismissed the planned workers’ protest in Imo by the Comrade Ayuba Wabba-led Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, as a mere blackmail, insisting the action slated for Tuesday, August 23, 2016 against Imo is unjustified.
Reacting to a recent report on the threat of mass protest by NLC in Imo and Nasarawa States, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Imo State, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, said posterity will hold it against the organisers because there is no basis for the threat.
He frowned seriously at the report in which the leadership of the NLC said they would carry out the protest to identify with Imo workers over what they described as “abuse of public service process by Imo State government”.
His words, “And for the avoidance of doubt, the Rescue Mission Government in the state with Okorocha as governor wishes to deny that allegation.
“The accusation is totally false. Imo State government has never abused any public service process as alleged by the NLC leadership, either by design or by accident.”
The CPS noted that the only problem the NLC in Imo State has with the state government is that the leaders of the congress have taken delight in blackmailing the Rochas-led administration for reasons we have always hesitated to talk about.
“And they also have the feeling that the only way to impress the workers is by opposing every policy of the state government not minding the popularity of such policy.
“In February 2016, the same Labour leaders in the state brought the entire National leadership of the Congress led by Comrade Wabba to the state also for a protest over one month salary owed to workers and the suspension of certain categories of workers in the parastatals for the purpose of repositioning them for productivity.
“The outcome of that protest was the joint agreement between government and the labour leaders including the National ones, with Comrade Wabba also being a signatory. And the crux of that agreement was that “government will retain and run all its affairs with not more than 30% of the verified revenue every month, while the joint committee will apply the balance of 70% in the settlement of salaries of public servants and pensioners.”
According to him, the state government has been religious over the implementation of this agreement. And has also paid civil servants’ salaries up to the month of July. In other words, Imo State government does not owe the civil servants in the state any outstanding salary at the moment.
“Again, the Back to Land for Agriculture policy of the government, for which the State Executive Council decided that public servants in the state, except those on essential duties would work from Monday to Wednesday in their respective offices and farm on Thursday and Friday of every week is a popular one, because the policy is in the overall interest of the state and the workers in particular.