BY PETER OKUTU
ABAKALIKI – Over 80 Ebonyi indigenes recently sacked by Abia State Government, yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at Government House, Abakaliki, to press home the need for them to be re-absorbed into their home state’s civil service.
The protesters carried placards with the inscriptions “A Sojourner has a home”; “we have come home for sense of belonging”; “Ebonyi State, salt of the nation, we embrace you”and “East or West, North or South, home is better,” among others.
A protester wielded one of the disengagement letters signed by the Board Secretary, ASUBEB, Umuahia, Chief Emma Igwe, which read: “I am directed to notify you of your disengagement from the service of Abia State Universal Basic Education Board with effect from October 1, 2011. This is due to ongoing re-organization in the service. While appreciating your past services, please accept our best wishes in your future endeavours.”
Spokesman for the group, Mr. Okoro Chibuike Uduma, pointed out that the reason they were disengaged was the fact that Governor Thoedore Orji of Abia State wanted to implement the payment of the new minimum wage for only indigenes of Abia State.
He said: “We are public servants from Abia State. The governor of Abia State said we have to come back to our state to enable him pay the new minimum wage. Before we knew it, we were disengaged and that’s why we are here so that we can be reabsorbed into Ebonyi State civil service.
“Since the Ebonyi Government said it is a rumour and that they have not received any official letter from Abia State Government, we are here to tell you people that it is not a rumour; it is real, we have been disengaged because Abia State government wants to pay 18,000 minimum wage to its indigenes.”