Posted by Effiong Udousoroh, Uyo | 21 June 2015 | 3,658 times
Labour movement in Akwa Ibom State, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), has refuted and rejected a piece of Nigerian Television Authority ‘NTA News’ on Thursday, alleging that the Akwa Ibom State government has not paid the salaries of workers under its employ, up to May 2015.
Addressing a crowded news conference in Uyo, the state capital, on Friday, the movement stated: “Labour is not out to play the Public Relations agent for, or hold brief for government of the state. Labour is only out to put the records straight in the genuine spirit of honesty, fairness and justice, as an honest citizen.”
“If there is any group that can, and must stand up to the government, or the employer on matters that affect the welfare of workers, the welfare of the general public, at any time, where government have to deviate from its sworn duty to the people, it is the labour. And labour in this state will never shrink from this sworn duty, come rain or shine.
“In the same token, labour is mature and objective enough to applaud government whenever it does well, and to rise to the defense of government only when it is necessary, since labour constitutes citizens of the state.
“Our reason for doing this is clear. We, the workers are the ones who receive or do not receive salaries and other entitlements whenever they are paid or are not paid. Therefore we are in the best position to speak for ourselves, and for or against those whose duty is to pay us.”
the labour movement emphasised.
“Let us say emphatically here that workers in the employ of Akwa Ibom State government, have received salaries up to May 2015.”
Labour added, “We views that report as a deliberate attempt at blackmailing the workers of the state, a callous effort to cause dissention among the workers, and a malicious attempt to create discord in the relations between labour/workers and the new administration in the state.’’
“Labour would have expected those behind that report to have, in the true spirit of ethical journalism and reportage, balanced out their information by cross-checking with especially, those who receive salaries and who understand the difference between salaries and other entitlements. This they did not do. We therefore see that report as an affront.
“If any person or group of persons have any bones to grind with any person else, or with those in government, labour and the workers of Akwa Ibom State refuse to be aligned with or dragged into it. Labour is capable of fighting its own cause and can defend itself. It might not need the support or services of anybody or group of persons. We create and help to manage the wealth of the state and we know what to do to hurt those who think we are not important.”
They added that their interest, most times, were “at variance with the interest of the political class and its lackeys”, noting: “Ours are to ensure the progress and harmonious co-existence in the state,” and pointed out that it would be very necessary for people to draw a line between what government was owning, and what government was not owning, on one hand, what the constitutional role of each tiers of government was, as far as payment of salaries and other benefits were concerned, and between salaries and others entitlements.
“There is therefore no need for people to be confusing issues and using them to generate disharmony. The workers in Akwa Ibom State need peace to help ensure the development and progress of the state. We therefore use this opportunity to refute and reject that news report in its totality, and call on the NTA that aired that misleading news item, to speedily correct itself in the interest of good relationship,” the labour movement demanded.
News Express reports that the NTA, actually reported the “false and misleading” salary news story about Akwa Ibom, alongside some other states in the country, while some few newspapers copied same the following day.
The press briefing was anchored by the new chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Akwa Ibom State Council, Comrade Etim Ukpong, and chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Akwa Ibom State Council, Comrade Akamba Awah, while the immediate-past state chairman of the NLC, Comrade Unyime Usoro, was also present, among others, and the briefing was moderated by chairman, State Council of the NUJ, Elder Patrick Albert.
•Photo shows Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom.
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