By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
Cleaners in Government House Calabar on Monday, protested the non-payment of their eight (8) months wages.
The protest began as early as 6:00AM with the cleaners using their tools to block the entrance designated as “Governor’s Office Calabar.” It serves as the entrance to aides of the governor, Senator Ben Ayade.
The cleaners are paid only NGN13,000 out of the NGN25,000 they are supposed to be paid and “have not received this wage since September as the last wage they received was in August,” said a senior staff in the administration who did not want to be mentioned.
They were bearing placards which had different messages inscribed on them seeking the attention of the Governor whom they said earned the sobriquet of “salary master” yet, his immediate staff may soon “perish.”
They were later addressed by the police official in charge of the police’s State Investigation and Intelligence Bureau (SIIB) unit, Mr. Lawrence Aniah who urged them to put their grievances in writing to the Governor.
The staff then left to meet their supervisor who said she was doing her best to ensure they get paid.
They protest ended at about 9:00AM and shortly after, the Chief of Staff, Mr. Martin’s Orim drove in and despite efforts to get an audience with him, his security detail prevented the staff.
“But the chief of staff kept saying that ‘something will be done to get the money, something will be done to get the money’ while walking into his office and we could not force our way in so we just hope and wait,” one of the cleaners told CrossRiverWatch.
However, the dedication of the staff has not wavered as many could still be seen cleaning offices and emptying trash cans even at press time.
This is even as several infrastructures in the Governor’s office have decayed despite a hurried renovation work carried out in December 2017.
The roofs in some offices leak while the rest rooms have remained bad with water running through a few pipes only. Some parts of the sewer system is also faulty which usually leaves the office with a bad odor.
And, following sustained rains over the weekend, some offices were flooded on Monday morning as the video obtained by CrossRiverWatch shows.
Watch the video on CrossRiverWatch TV…