Civil servants in Imo state on Thursday barricaded the entrance of Douglas House over non payment of their salaries and allowances.
This is contrary to claims by the state governor, Hope Uzodimma that they are being paid on and as at when due
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The Governor, Hope Uzodimma, had, while briefing members of the correspondents chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) said that he was not owing any civil servant in the state.
He had said that those who had yet to receive their salaries up to date were ghost workers.
But the civil servants, numbering over 1, 000 had arrived at the Government House in Owerri as early as 8 am, preventing vehicles from going in and out of the seat of power.
The situation created panic at as security men manning the gate battled in vain to disperse the protesting civil servants.
They said that they were at the Government House to prove to the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, that they were not ghost workers.
One of the protesting civil servants who simply identified his name as Caleb described the governor’s statement as unfortunate.
He said, “We have come to puncture the statement of the governor that those who have not received their salaries update are ghost workers. That is why we have come with our letters of appointments and that of our postings.
“We are over one thousand here. There are others who have not received their salaries in the last one year among us here. For me, I have not been paid in the last eight months. It is unfortunate that the governor is owing us and he is still lying against us and painting us in bad colours.”
The protesting Civil servants vowed not to vacate the entrance gate of the Government House until they were paid.
They said that they will resume 7 am there every day going forward until they are paid.
Cakeb said, “I am a secondary school teacher and I have not been paid in the last 12 months. This is the 13th month. Since this governor assumed office, I have only received one month’s salary and that was January 2020. What kind of wickedness is this?. What kind of leaders do we have in this country?”
The commissioner for information and strategy, Declan Emelumba, was not available for comments as his phone couldn’t be reached.