By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—Labour leaders across the country, including the National President of Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, yesterday, stormed Owerri, Imo State to empathize with Imo workers that have been having a running battle with the state government.
The NLC boss and his colleagues first led the aggrieved workers in a peaceful protest march through the major streets of Owerri, before addressing them in the premises of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, on Port Harcourt Road.
Some of the placards carried by the workers read: ‘Recall the 400 workers sacked via concession in ITC,’ ‘Workers say no to premature retirement,’ ‘70 per cent basic to pensioners is killing,’ ‘Workers’ salary is not a gift but a right,’ ‘Do not concession our hospitals,’ ‘Imo Rubber Estate deserves a better management,’ ‘No to illegal suspension of workers’ ‘Pay us our 14 months arrears of salaries,’ among others.
Addressing the workers, Wabba described the situation in Imo State as “a serious situation that requires serious attention and solution,” pointing out that “injury to one is injury to all.”
He said that the manifesto of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, promised creation of jobs, Wabba wondered why Governor Rochas Okorocha should be thinking of sacking the workers.
“During the electioneering period, Okorocha promised to build industries and create jobs, but today, he is planning to summarily sack workers. He promised to increase salaries and today, he has slashed salaries. He cannot continue to fool Imo people,” Wabba said.
According to the NLC boss: “This is the only state that owes legal officers for upwards of eight months. Imo Newspaper workers are owed for 18 months and the governor is thinking of privatizing hospitals and clinics. Government can’t deprive the citizens of their right to life.”