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Cross River: 500 teachers protest alleged removal from payroll, unpaid salaries

By Ike Uchechukwu, Calabar on 05/11/2019

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•Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade
•Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade

Nothing less than 500 Science Teachers in Cross River Tuesday carried out a protest at the state governor’s office to demand reinstatement into service and payment of their September and October salaries.

Vanguard learned that the affected teachers’ names were allegedly removed from the state government’s payroll following the non-payment of September -October salaries while in some quarters the action was perceived as a sack.

Some of the affected teachers who carried various placards with inscriptions such as: reinstate our names into payroll, we deserve better treatment as nation builders, Ayade: don’t take away our food and others, prevented movements in an out of the governor’s office during the protest.

Spokesperson of the teachers, Mr. Henry Abu, a teacher in Government Girls Secondary School, Biq-qua Town, Calabar, said that 500 of them were delisted from the state government payroll in September and to that effect salaries of September and October have not been paid

Abu said that the removal of their names from the payroll had caused untold hardship to families of the affected teachers in the state even many have resorted to begging to feed their families. His words: “We are out on this protest today because, from our investigations, we found out that our names were removed from the payroll without due process.

“It’s been two months now and we have not been paid. We have families to feed and we have to pay our children’s and ward school fees. “The governor promised us food on the table but as it stands now, we can’t even feed from the crumbs. The governor has betrayed our confidence in him.

“We are here to ask him to reinstate us and pay us our two months’ salaries arrears. 500 Science Teachers in the state are affected by this sack,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Asuquo Ita an affected teacher said that the recruitment that brought them to service was done by an Indian firm, “educom” in 2015. Obono said that the former governor of Cross River, Sen. Liyel Imoke, spent a lot of money in the recruitment process to ensure transparency and quality of teachers into the service.

“How can an interview that was done transparently by an Indian firm be faulted four years after. The governor has refused to tell us exactly why he has refused to pay us.

“What we are facing is an issue of fraud and conspiracy. The Special Assistant on Payroll to the Governor, Mr. John Odey is not competent and we demand his immediate sack.

“The Special Adviser claimed that there were fishing out ghost workers from payroll. If you are fishing for ghost workers, does it amount to stopping salaries of 500 teachers?

“We demand the immediate payment of our salaries before the end of today. This money is not Ayade’s money; it is money meant for salaries of civil servants and so we deserve to be paid,” he said.

When contacted, Special Adviser Media and Publicity to Gov Ayade, Mr. Christian Ita, told Vanguard on the phone that the governor was doing a cleansing of the state payroll in other to delete ghost workers.

“Nobody has sacked them. The government has realized that because approval was given for employment in some areas, the people in charge resorted to over employment.

“In some cases were 200 persons were approved for employment, the people saddled with the responsibility recruited 700 staff. So, nobody has been sacked.

“Those whose employment were genuine have been given letters for re-validation of their employment. This means that those that were genuinely employed are to be restored back to the payroll,” Ita said. (Vanguard)

Source News Express

Posted 05/11/2019 7:42:52 PM





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