500 lawyers, teachers, others protest removal from payroll

Posted by FACTNEWS | 3 years ago | 986 times

Placard-carrying civil servants protested at the Governor’s Office in Calabar on Tuesday against the removal of their names from the state’s payroll.

The workers, comprising over 500 science teachers, 40 lawyers, ICT workers in various ministries, departments and agencies, had stormed the gate of office of the auditor-general before they moved to the Governor’s Office some metres away.

The placards had inscriptions such as: ‘Look for ghost workers elsewhere, not among teachers’, ‘Stop punishing us, pay us our salaries’, ‘John Odey resign for incompetence’, and ‘We need our two months’ salaries’, among others.

One of the science teachers, who led the protest, Henry Abuh, said, “We came here because our names were removed from the payroll. We are about 500 science teachers. Our names were removed from the payroll without our knowledge. We did not commit any crime. We have served this government faithfully.

“Suddenly, we didn’t get banking alerts. We heard rumours that we were going to be sacked two months ago. That was in September. We knew that we were not sacked because we had not been issued any sack letter. The problem is that our names have been removed from the payroll. We have not been receiving salaries and our names have been removed from the payroll. And we have been teaching.

“Most of us don’t have power to go to the class to teach. We pay school fees for our children from the salary. Among us here we have lawyers and mostly science teachers. What we want the governor to do is to reinstate us on the payroll.

“We want the SA Payroll, John Odey, to resign because he did not follow the due process. The government is an organised institution. If they want to do anything, they should follow the due process.

“We went through a painstaking process before we were employed as science teachers and we have our confirmation letters issued to us by the government. We were surprised to discover that the SA to Ayade on payroll removed our names and since September, we have not received our salaries.

“The state lacked science teachers and that was why both Senator Liyel Imoke and Prof. Ayade embarked on the recruitment of science teachers. We went through very rigorous exercises and we were given our confirmation letter. We have been working for two months now without pay, while our colleagues have been paid.  We will not stop protesting until we are paid.”

Speaking on behalf of the protesting lawyers, Roseline Inameti, said at least 40 lawyers were affected “and this is after working here for more than three years and after we had gone through the process of employment.”

She said if the government was looking for a way of fishing out ‘ghost’ workers, “it knows what to do and not to come and distort our daily bread.”

Inameti said the lawyers would continue to protest what she called injustice done to them, adding, “I was in Imo State when I came here to apply for the position of a 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.”

 Addressing the protesters, the Permanent Secretary in the office of the State Security Adviser, Sir Alfred Mboto, sympathised with them and promised to take their case to the governor


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