By Jonathan Ugbal
The organised labor in Cross River State Wednesday issued a 21 day ultimatum to the federal government on the release and subsequent approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the signature projects of the Governor Ben Ayade led government.
The organised labor, an umbrella for the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) said almost two years after the state’s application, the federal ministry of Environment and other relevant government agencies are playing “petty politics with the future of the state.”
The NLC Chairman, John Ushie and his TUC counterpart, Clarkson Otu made known labor’s position in a rally through major streets in Calabar, the Cross River State capital where they said if nothing was done after the expiration of the ultimatum, they will be left with no choice than explore every legal option available to press home their frustrations.
Commending Governor Ayade, the labor leaders said that; “Cross River State is being treated unfairly,” and wondered “the crime the state had committed for the federal Government to continue to humiliate it.”
“What is the sin of Cross River State? What has Cross River State done to deserve this treatment? Why continue to deny the state the much needed development? Has the federal government not humiliated Cross River State enough? Where is the railway line? Why is the Federal Ministry of the Environment delaying the release of the EIA report?” The organised labor queried while delivering a position paper at the Calabar office of the federal ministry of environment.
The Lagos-Calabar rail line promised the state was not captured in the 2017 national budget the organised labor said.
The members carried placards with several inscriptions on them.
Some of the placards read; “Ministry of Environment do the needful”, “Cross River State workers demand immediate approval and release of EIA for the deep seaport and super highway”, “Cross River State workers in support of Development”, “Superhighway knows no political party”.
The rally ended at the Governor’s office where both labor leaders delivered a letter to the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Tina Agbor who promised it will be forwarded to the appropriate quarters.