Workers’ sack: Tension heightens in Imo

By Chidi Nkwopara

OWERRI—The tension ignited by the summary dismissal, weekend, of over 3,000 civil servants by Imo State Government has continued to grow unabated in the state.

Gov. Rochas Okorocha
Gov. Rochas Okorocha

When Vanguard closely monitored the activities in some of the affected parastatals, agencies and departments yesterday, workers were seen in their offices.

Those of them that spoke to Vanguard claimed that despite the directives by labour leaders in the state, all the affected workers said that the state government followed due process before employing them.

“The state government strictly followed due process, including interviews, before employing us. It therefore follows that if government wants to disengage us for whatever reason, it must follow due process,” a staff that simply identified himself as Chukwuka, fumed.

While wondering why government should make a sweeping order, sacking thousands of workers and for no just cause, Chukwuka equally recalled with grief that “most of the victims of the executive recklessness never had a single query in their personal files.”

In her own reaction, another worker that simply identified herself as Chiaka, said it was most improper for the Okorocha administration to sack workers through the airwaves of the state radio and television.

“Bizarre things have been happening in the state between 2011 and now. One of the first things this administration did soon after coming on board, was the sacking of the 10,000 workers engaged by the immediate past governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim,” Chiaka recalled with grief.

Continuing, Chiaka equally recalled that apart from workers that retired when it was due, Governor Okorocha had at various times, brazenly suspended workers without pay.

“It is most shocking the way the Governor takes delight in maltreating workers in the state. Some permanent secretaries and directors, including those in the Ministry of Justice, were earlier suspended without pay.”

She passionately appealed to religious leaders in and outside the state, to call the governor to order, adding that several people that draw their living from the affected workers will obviously suffer undue hardship.

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