By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI—Ebonyi State government yesterday denied deduction of workers’ salaries before the passage of the new pension law recently signed by Governor Dave Umahi.
It described the allegation by labour leaders in the state that the government was deducting salaries of workers before the law came into being as baseless and an attempt to incite the workers against the government.
Addressing journalists in Abakaliki, the Special Adviser to Governor Umahi on Labour Relations, Mrs Grace Chukwu urged the labour leaders to support the new pension law.
She expressed surprise that the labour leaders who were part of the process that led to the emergence of the new pension law could claim that they were not involved before the passage of the law.
She said: “The labour leaders were consulted, they were involved in the whole process. They were there at the House of Assembly during public hearing on the matter and they made inputs.
“We are thus, surprised that they issued a statement denying that they were consulted. The labour leaders have been part of this administration. They have always been involved in anything that the state government is doing including the recent agric programme in which the state government is giving the sum of N250, 000 each to over 8,000 workers participating in the programme.
“And let me make it clear that salaries of workers are not deducted as they claimed. Salaries of workers for this month have not been paid to verify the claim of the labour leaders. So, we are calling on the labour leaders to continue to support this administration.”
Workers on their part should avoid being incited against the government by the labour leaders because the new pension law is in their interest”, she said.
“Biafra agitation is only a reaction to the many injustices, exclusion, second class citizenship, born to rule philosophy, marginalization and other forms of inequality that characterise the Nigerian state.
“As every revolutionary struggle has its own methodology, the current Biafran struggle for actualization and restoration will continue to unfold confusing methods to president Buhari and his Islamic minded fundamentalist.