Unless the Delta State governor, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa recalls the over 2000 civil servants whose government suspended their recruitment exercises, the affected civil servants have drawn a battle line with Okowa which is capable of destroying his chances of clinching his second term bid come 2019.
Mrs Ndidi Ayaunor, one of the affected civil servants
a�?It is pertinent to let the government know that those of us who were employed into the civil service by the previous government led by Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan, that were disengaged by Okowaa��s administration has created a network across the three senatorial districts to fight back with the only weapon we have, which is our Permanent Voters Card and probably seek redress in the law courta�?.
The battle line was drawn Wednesday during a press briefing by the chairman of the sacked civil servants, Comrade Obukowho Ighesiri Regha, at the premises of the old secretariat, along Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan Way, Asaba.
He noted that they are aware that justice is expensive, a�?hence we are holding on to our voters cards to vote out a government that turned deaf ears to her citizens outcrya�?, he stressed.
He said they were not dissuaded nor frightened by the continued pay of deaf ears to their plights.
Hear him, a�?we have called this press briefing to let His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Senator Dr, Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa and his cronies to know that we are neither deterred nor intimidated by his deaf ears to our cries, sufferings and political speeches by some his political loyalists that we will soon be called back for the last three years without an atom of actiona�?.
He pointed out that the affected civil servants have written to appeal to the government through the various institutions in the state, regretting that the institutions seemed to have no say, describing the head of the government (Okowa) as a a�?tyranta��.
a�?We have written to the House of Assembly that is supposed to be the mouth piece for the oppressed and a;so to check the excesses of the executive arm of government, but to our greatest surprise, nobody dare see anything wrong with the executive, if you dare, you will be suspended, our petition to the House was never reada�?, he alleged.
He lamented that an employment issue that affects citizens cut across the state which a normal and well thinking House of Assembly with sense of representing the people ought to deliberate and come up with lasting solution was swept under the carpet, a�?As a matter of facts, we dona��t have House of Assembly in Delta Statea�?, he noted.
Some of the affected civil servants who spoke said they were employed on merit, stating that their suspension has brought them untold hardship.
Mrs Josephine Edumor, a family of five with about five months baby said it has not been easy, a�?for the past nine years I have being seeking and searching for this job and as God will have it about two years ago I was given a job, only for the sitting governor to suspend our job with the hope of him recalling us back. For quite some time now we have being going up and down without a job with this faithful economy, it has not been easy. We are pleading that he should recall us backa�?.
Mrs Edumor, who studied Education Economist and was posted to the Ministry of Education worked for one month without pay before her hope was dashed lamented that she has not being able to support her family as several persons including her mother, niece, an orphan and just secured admission into Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo State, a�?I have lots of niece, nephews out there depending and believing that onea��s Aunty is there to support them but today, the job is not forth coming and even when we got one, it was suspendeda�?.
She said she got the job on merit and did not pay a dime to secure the suspended job, a�?the advert came up, we all applied and after that we were called for the aptitude test which we did went for and employment came. So, why should I pay any money to get a job? It is not called fora�?.
Another respondent who studied Mass Communication and was posted to the Ministry of Information, Mrs Ndidi Ayaunor, revealed that she resigned from her former place of work as a secretary for three years at the Asaba Housing Estate, to apply for the job which she secured.
Comrade Obukowho Ighesiri Regha
a�?During April 29 and we were called off, I put in my resignation letter. The day I was supposed to stop work, was the day Okowa suspended the employment. So, it has been tough. During that time, I conceived my baby and couldna��t look for another job then because it wasna��t easy for a pregnant woman to start applying when your pregnancy is showing and I am pleading with him to bring back my job because my daughter is of school age nowa�?.
But in his respond, the Information Commissioner, Patrick Ukah, said, a�?I am aware that there are some people who were given employment, over 2000 and when we came that exercise was suspended for government to look into it critically and I am aware that the government is still looking into it very critically into ita�?.
He said there is no question of sacking anybody, a�?the question was that the employment exercise was suspended. The government has been carrying out some biometrics and we have been doing some verification exercises. There is about 422 people that up till now still in the payroll that have not come to clear themselves and we have just given an extension of time again for them to come and clear themselvesa�?.
He insisted that the government didna��t sack anybody but that the exercise is been looked into by the government, a�?and all the exercise that you have seen that is going on now is evident to the fact that we are looking into ita�?.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (local news)