Aka Ikenga, an Igbo think tank group, flays Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Eastern Nigeria, for sacking 3000 workers, including those who have served for 30 years who are about retiring to avoid paying them gratuity
AKA Ikenga, an Igbo think tank group, has condemned Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Eastern Nigeria, for suddenly laying off 3,000 workers and concessioning the 19 parastatals where they worked describing it as an act of wickedness.
A statement issued by Goddy Uwazuruike, president of Aka Ikenga in Lagos, February 4, said: “Aka Ikenga has patiently and meticulously read the exchange of correspondence between the Government of Imo State and the 3,000 workers of the 19 Imo parastatals. Imo State Government last month suspended the 3,000 workers of the 19 parastatals and asked them to reapply. The workers cried out that they have been disengaged. The Nigeria Labour Congress’ intervention does not seem to have yielded any fruit. The workers are now reduced to begging!
“The facts on the ground are that Imo Government has concessioned the 19 parastatals and the workers are now out of job. Some of these workers have put in more than 30 years in service and are looking forward to retirement with the attendant payment of gratuity and pensions. This will never happen because their employer has directed them to reapply. In other words, the workers have been sacked or laid off and can only come in as new workers once they reapply,” the statement said..
Aka Ikenga condemned the action of the Imo government directed at the sons and daughters, daddies, mummies and grand parents of Imo State, asking: “How can a worker go to bed knowing he is a staff of the Imo state government and then wakes up to hear the news that he is no longer an employee of his own government?”
“Aka Ikenga condemns this in the strongest term. It is nothing but wickedness of man against man. How callous can those in government be? Do they know that “no condition is permanent? Aka Ikenga has heard it repeatedly said that the Imo state government is not owing its employees. What about 3,000 workers who are neither declared redundant nor retired? The Civil Service Laws of this country protect government employees and nobody has the right to throw workers into the market just like that,” the statement said.
It stated that Aka Ikenga has heard the government lament the low income it now receives. “May we remind all that Imo and Abia states are oil producing areas and that the Abia State government is being encouraged to re-engage fully those non-indigenes it sacked a couple of years ago. Imo State must not engage in self destruction. A word is a enough for the wise!” it said.
— Feb 15, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT