By Jonathan Ugbal
The protest by civil servants engaged by the Cross River State Government between 2017 and 2018 over non payment of salaries continued today in front of the Governor’s office in Calabar.
The protest which began on Tuesday last week has continued despite a snub by Governor Ayade and his supporters.
On Thursday, nearly about 2,000 supporters of the Governor thronged the Governor’s office to announce their support for his defection to the All Progressives Congress which ended in a squabble over the sharing formula for the NGN5 million he released to the organisers.
The supporters presence forced the protesting civil servants away that Thursday only to reconvene on Friday for another round of promises.
“We were forced to leave because we did not want to clash with his supporters and on Friday, the Head of Service came accompanied by (Alfred) Mboto to address is,” David Nya, one of the leaders told this reporter.
Mr. Mboto is the Permanent Secretary in the Special Services office of the Governor’s office.
“The Head of Service told us that we should give her time to sort it out and we said we were tired of hearing that after 3 years,” David said.
This reporter gathered that the Head of Service got pissed and said that she was not given a slot during the recruitment exercise.
At an earlier meeting with them, She is said to have asked how many of her kinsmen from Okuni community of Ikom Local Government Area were in the State civil service.
How It Started…
Nearly 3,000 works engaged by the State from 2016 were delisted from the payroll in 2019 after Governor Ben Ayade was sworn in for a second term.
After a breakdown in negotiations and meetings, they began protesting in September last year with Governor Ayade claiming he was unaware.
The visit of his Edo State counterpart forced his hand to address them and he directed a verification exercise to be carried out after claiming he did not approve their recruitment.
Addressing them before the verification exercise kicked off, Mr. Ayade asked them to forfeit arrears of their salaries as the only option to be included in the payroll and they agreed.
Amongst these 3,000 were about 1,800 engaged between 2017 and 2018, some of whom were yet to receive confirmation letters after they had been issued letters of appointment.
While their colleagues from 2016 were later added to the payroll, they waited patiently and never got paid despite resume at different areas of postings in their respective Ministries, Departments, Agencies and parastatals of the State.
And, following the failure of the authorities to give them their due, began protesting last week Tuesday.
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