By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – WORKERS and pensioners of the College of Education, Ekiadolor in Edo State Monday protested the none payment of their salaries and allowances for the past 11 months.
The workers who dressed in all black attires and with several placards displaying anti-government slogans protested through the streets of Benin to the government house where no government official came out to address the protesting workers.
The protesters vowed to continue to protests on a daily basis until they were attended to, noting that they are tired of being turned to beggars to meet their family responsibilities.
Leader of the protesters who is also the chairman of the College of Education Academic Union, COEASU, Comrade Fred Omonuwa, also said they won’t be blackmailed on the altar of politics for demanding for their rights.
He said: “For sometimes now we have been having issues of 11 Months unpaid salaries. We have tried to meet with the governor when the head of service came to speak with us to shield our sword. We thought that within two weeks our salaries will be paid but they never listened to us.
“Congress met and decided to come out in peaceful protest to demand our hard earn salaries including pension and gratuities. We spent couple of hours at government house nobody came out to address us. We believe that a labourer is worthy of his pay and we are going to continue on this path until our demands are met.”
Omonuwa also expressed disappointment with the state government for linking their protest to politics adding that “when they came to our school to placate us not to protest we were not being sponsored. It is just blackmail.”
But the state government through the Commissioner for Education, Hon Jimoh Ijegbai said “Since the inception of this government, we have been consistent in giving the school the monthly subvention up till May 2020. In the last two weeks, government has released two months subvention to the workers to show good faith in spite of the fact that they were not working.
“We are surprised now about the protests, which the Edo State Government believes is politically motivated.
“They are sponsored by politicians hellbent on derailing development in the state. This government will not be blackmailed by any group whatsoever,” he added.