The Imo state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has commended the decision of Governor Rochas Okorocha to recall over 2,000 local government workers suspended from service five months ago.
The suspended council workers were drawn from the 27 Local Government Areas of the state who were tagged `ghost workers’ and fired for allegedly not attending to their duties by the State Local Government Service Commission.
Jolted by that decision, the leadership of the NLC protested the government action on the ground that due process was not followed, even as the labour union set up a fact-finding team to unravel the mystery behind such action.
The state chairman of NLC, Mr. Austin Chilakpu, said during a media briefing on Saturday in Owerri that government rescinded its earlier decision and recalled the workers due to clear revelations that the workers were unduly treated.
The probe team set up by NLC discovered that majority of the workers tagged ‘ghost workers’ were health workers whose duty posts were Primary Health Centres and as a such, do not require writing the attendance register every morning at the council headquarters.These persons and others not liked by their superiors in offices were the so-called ‘ghost workers’ who were suspended and their salaries stopped since January 2017.’’
Chilakpu stated that after the governor saw that Ahiajoku Centre Owerri was filled to its brim by workers branded as ‘ghosts’ on June 16, he (Okorocha) decided to rescind the suspension order.
The NLC chairman equally commended the directive by the governor that the five months salaries of the affected workers be paid in full, even as he appealed to Okorocha to equally address the lingering problem between the state government and the state pensioners.
“We are calling on His Excellency to look into the problem between the state government and the pensioners by paying 100 percent of whatever it can afford to the pensioners rather than these slashing of pensions.’’
He said if the problem of pensioners is addressed, government would no longer be perceived as not doing enough for the people, saying `a lot of people based their anger on the governor on the treatment meted to the pensioners.