By Frankie Ifop
After being delisted from government payroll since August, 2019, over 2,500 workers took to the Cross River State Secretariat along Murtala Mohammed highway to protest.
During the peaceful protest, one of the affected worker, who happened to be a nursing mother slumped as she couldn’t endure any further; although the lady survived and nothing happened to her child as well.
Speaking shortly after being revived, the nursing mother who did not give her name said: “My wedding month, I wedded on the 14th of September, 2019. I immediately I got wedded, that was when my salary was stopped.
“I have been suffering. I’ve had miscarriages, I’ve not bee able to control myself”, she added while crying profusely.
PARADISE NEWS also noticed among the protesters, pregnant women and other nursing mothers. Some persons with poor health condition were also protesting in other for the government to reinstate their names, or at least pay their salary arrears.
A mother of two, took her children including a baby who is less than a year and joined the protest as she can no longer cater for them after staying 13 months without salary or a job.
The civil servants were given hope after being employed since 2015 but the hope was dashed in 2018 and 2019 as their names were removed from the payroll by the Cross River State government for no reason.
Speaking on the first day of the protest which is to last for 7 days, some of the workers said: “We were duly employed in 2015 and due process was followed as many of us wrote the different examinations and were given employment letters by the Cross River State government but surprisingly for no reason many names were dropped from the payroll in 2018 and another large number in August 2019”.
The workers are pleading with the state governor, Sen. Ben Ayade, to save them from the sufferings they are currently facing as some of them can’t even afford a square meal.
“We are appealing to the Ayade led administration to take a cursory look into our plight because many of us are now homeless and our children are already out of school coupled with the impact of COVID-19, life is getting worse by the day”, the workers cried out during the protest on Monday, September 21, 2020.
However, Mr. Christian Ita, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, on behalf of the Government said: “As we speak we are in touch with Labour to begin the process of reinstating them back in the payroll, so there is no cause for alarm at all, all those genuine civil servants will surely be reinstated”.
He added that, “We have been discussing with the government through the office of the Head of Service to resolve the matter all in a bid to reinstate those workers who were genuinely employed in 2015.
“We are not keeping quiet about their plight, we are doing our best to resolve the matter, there are plans to carry out screening to know those genuine persons whose names were removed from the payroll, this week”.
The peaceful protest which started on Monday, September 21, 2020, PARADISE NEWS learnt will last for 7 days.
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