By CrossRiverWatch admin
The Cross River State Commissioner for Environment, Engineer Mike Eraye has been accused of corruption and abuse of office.
The accusation was made following the un-ceremonial removal of over 250 road sweepers who are being owed 8 months salary and some staff of the Calabar Urban Development Agency, CUDA who are also being owed 3 months salary.
The disengaged workers made the accusation jointly during a two days protest in Calabar, the Cross River State capital where they call Engineer Eraye all sort of names.
The CUDA workers on Thursday barricaded the Ministry of Environment’s gate for hours with no sign of the Commissioner in sight. Friday again, they barricaded sections of the IBB way to Airport (Atimbo) in Calabar for over two hours in protest of the backlog of salaries owed them.
The protesters who were chanting solidarity songs barricaded CUDA’s office, set burn fires, obstructed the flow of traffic and demanded the immediate sack of the Commissioner of Environment for what they called corruption and abuse of office.
Some of the protesters who spoke to CrossRiverWatch said the State Government through the Ministry of Environment owes them salaries of over three months and some have not seen their salaries since December.
Speaking in Pidgin English, one of the protesters said the government was using divide and rule tactics, as it will pay the salaries of some workers and not pay that of others, brewing discord among them and that all attempts to talk with the government have been to no avail.
He further stated that the risk involved in their job is life threatening and does not warrant the treatment they were receiving from the government.
Also speaking, another worker said that since the appointment of the current Commissioner, it has been one problem or the other. He stated that he has worked with CUDA for over three years and was embarrassed when this administration came and cut his salary from 30 to 25 thousand naira and still owes him.
Another, elderly lady said: “He sacked we the CB PRO people since last week, over 250 of us, according to him he’s acting on Ayade’s instruction. He paid some of us one month, others two months, some nothing and said we have been paid off. They gave us jobs without employment papers, the company they employed us for can’t pay us and they can’t bring them to book. We have no help at all; God will deal with those responsible for our suffering. Some of us our signatures are forged and our salary collected without our notice and till date they’re doing nothing to help.”
As at the time of filling this report the protesters had been forcefully dispersed by a team of policemen using teargas.
Nothing has been heard from the Government side as a call was placed to Eraye, he answered after calling over five times and said: “You are always talking of the CB PRO women; HE (His Excellency) gave me a task to raise a memo, let’s do that now.”
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