By Isiaka Oyibo
LOKOJA â€” WORKERS in the public sector of Kogi State Government, yesterday, proceeded on an indefinite strike over what they described as the allegedÂ Â insensitivity of Governor Ibrahim Idris administration to their welfare.
The commencement of the industrial action is sequel to the expiration of the 48-hour ultimatum issued to government by the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council on issues affecting the welfare of workers in the state.
The JPSNC had, in a bulletin, weekend, with reference number KGSC/BULL/006 entitled, For Workers Notice and Necessary Action, a copy of which was made available to Vanguard, frowned at the omission of names of some workers in the state from the payment vouchers which they said was done in bad faith.
They also alleged that the contracting firm handling the ongoing screening had subjected civil servants in the state to untold hardship and humiliation since the commencement of the exercise.
The untold hardship, according to the bulletin includes outright retrench-ment or retirement of civil servants, tearing of their documents as well as outright denial of screening of eligible civil servants by the consulting firm.
However, the Special Adviser to Governor Ibrahim Idris on Public Communi-cation and Strategy, Phrank Shaubu,Â in an interview with VanguardÂ blamed the omission on computer error.
Phrank said the governor had already directed that the verification and screening exercise of those whose names were omitted be reviewed and included in the payment vouchers and appealed for calm as government was doing everything possible to address their plight.
Meanwhile the sit-at home order to workers by the leadership of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council were felt yesterday as virtually all government offices were under lock and key with many of them staying back home.
Students of Public Secondary Schools in the state which just returned to classes following the suspension of the eight months strike actions by teachers in the state were also not left out as they too took to the major streets in the town in protest over the industrial action.
The aggrieved students who gathered at the gate of the Government House to register their protest were however dispersed with teargas by security officials leaving many of them scampering to safety.
Also yesterday the state government owned Radio Kogi was off air while the premises of The Graphics Newspapers were under lock and key.
The situation was not different atÂ the state secretariat,Â as a handful of the workers were forced out of their respective offices by the union leaders.