… lambasts Okorocha for misusing bailout fund
The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Ayuba Wabba, has told Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to resign from his position as the governor of the state if he cannot pay the salaries of civil servants and pensioners in the state.
The president also lambasted the governor on the manner he disbursed the bailout fund given to the state.
Wabba made his feeling public in an address to more than 10, 000 Imo workers who attended one day mobilization rally organised by the national leadership of NLC to address anti-labour policies of Okorocha in Owerri on Wednesday.
The NLC boss however called on President Muhammadu Buhari to beam the searchlight of his anti-corruption in Imo as well as other states and local governments were the fund was not handled properly.
“NLC stormed Owerri with all the national executives of NLC, some Trade Union Congress members and NLC leadership from other states in the South-East and South-South to draw the attention of Nigeria that Okorocha is to doing things properly.
“In other states, before the bailout fund was disbursed the governors invited the ICPC,
NLC, pensioners, and other relevant groups, but in Imo such procedure was not observed.
“What we heard took place was that Gov. Okorocha unilaterally handled the disbursement of the bailout fund which has resulted in pensioners and workers of some parastatals being owed up to date’’, he said.
According Wabba, “we also gathered that because of wrong handling of the fund, Imo governor ordered workers to sign bound before they were paid their salaries, and is concessioning government parastals and sacking workers orally.
“The same governor has reduced retirement age for Imo workers to from 60 years to 45 years, when the rule has it that retirement age is for civil servants in Nigeria is 60 years’’, he said.
Wabba regretted that it was only in Imo that the NLC officials were not part of the modalities for the disbursing of the bailout fund which the state secured from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He noted concern that a lot of wrongs were going on in Imo , saying, “Okorocha cannot sack workers on the premise that economic situation was bad.’’
“APC government promised to generate two million jobs yearly to Nigerians if voted into power, why is it that at federal level Buhari is talking of employing 500, 000 teachers in 2016 while Okorocha is planning to sack workers in Imo State.
“Is it that Okorocha’s government in Imo is not part of APC government in Nigeria or because he Okorocha is the only governor where economic situation is the worst’’, he queried.
Wabba however called on President Buhari to look the way of some governors who according to him are not being guided by the rules, adding, “some of these elites must be closely monitored if the anti-corruption fight must succeed.’’
Some of the workers were dressed in black attire carried placards which read; Gov. Okorocha should pay Imo pensioners their 10 years gratuities, and Gov. Okorocha should pay Imo pensioners their 18 months pension arrears.
Other placards read; Gov. Okorocha you lack the powers to sack parastatal workers who did not commit any offence, Imo State pensioners wants Gov. Okorocha to pay their pensions now or resign among others.
The demonstrating workers marched from NLC office at Edede Street,, Owerri to Nigeria Medical Association office on Port Harcourt, road Owerri where Wabba addressed them.