Thursday, 15 October 2015

Drama In Imo As Assembly Workers Lock-out Corpse Of Ex-speaker

There was a drama in Imo state on Thursday, October 15, as angry staff of the state House of Assembly locked the gates of the complex and stopped the corpse of the first speaker of the state legislature, Gideon Ndubuisi Atulomah, from being laid for a valedictory session.

New Telegraph reports that the workers took such drastic measures to make the state government pay their six months’ salary arrears.

While a family of the deceased, mourners and visitors of the complex were locked out for about an hour, the workers barricaded the gates of the complex and chanted solidarity songs reflecting their grievances.

Speaking with journalists, Ngozi Ofoegbu, the chairman of the state chapter of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, lamented that the workers of the House of Assembly had not been paid for six month. According to him, some of the members have died because they could not afford money for medical treatment.

“We did this to show the world that we are still being treated as if we are no longer needed in the service. We don’t understand this kind of heartlessness by the governor and his men. All we are asking for is that we be paid our salaries which were last paid in March 2015,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned Rochas Okorocha, the governor of Imo state, against victimizing workers who demand their legitimate rights.

The organization condemned the Imo state government for the use of the police force to chase out staff from their offices, stressing that scores of workers had been arrested, brutalized and tear-gassed.

Reacting to the accusations, the Imo state government described as unfounded the allegation that it had brutalized and chased out workers from their offices with security operatives after it concessioned the parastatals.

The Nation reports that Sam Onwuemeodo, the chief press secretary to the governor, issued a statement saying:

“It is important to first and foremost, correct an impression over the action of the State Government on the parastatals. The truth is that Governor Okorocha or the Rescue Mission Government in the state has not concessioned any parastatal in the state. What the government had done was to concession the managements of the parastatals to make them productive. Concessioning the parastatals and concessioning the managements of the parastatals are not the same.”