Magistrates protest against non-payment of salaries in Cross River

Polytechnic employees begin 14-day warning strike

No fewer than 30 Cross River State magistrates have protested against non-payment of their 24 months salaries at the Governor’s Office in Calabar.

Chief Magistrate Court of Odukpani, Safiya Ashipu, who protested along with her two sons and 29 other magistrates, carried placards with inscription such as: Your Excellency, I Have Not Been Paid For Two Years, Please Pay Me, while her sons placards read: My Governor, You Have The Power To Help Change Our Lives For The Better and Please Pay Our Mother Her Two Years Salary, among others.

The magistrates, including 11 from Obudu, where Governor Ben Ayade hails from, were drawn from the 18 council areas of the state.

They blocked the second gate of the Governor’s Office carrying placards with inscriptions such as: No Bliss, No Blush, Cross River State Magistrates In penury, We Have Right To Employment and Ayade Pay Us, among several others.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Chief Magistrate of the Cross River State Government, Solomon Abuo, said the protest was necessitated by government’s failure to pay their salaries in the last two years.

“We demand that our 24 months salary be paid immediately, otherwise we will continue the protest and stop sitting in courts until we are paid,” he said.

As at the time of filling this report, no government officials addressed the protesters, as Governor Ayade and his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, were away from office.

MEANWHILE, the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP), yesterday, embarked on a 14-day warning strike over government failure to pay their minimum wage arrears.

The directive was contained in a statement issued by Acting National Secretary of the association, Comrade Emmanuel Enyiegor, following a General Executive Council Meeting held on December 17, 2020 in Calabar.

“This is to bring to the attention of all members that the General Executive Council had on December 17, 2020, approved the commencement of 14-day warning strike with effect from January 4, 2021.

“Members are by this notice directed to stop going to office from Monday January 4, 2021.We demand immediate re-evaluation and implementation of NEEDS assessment report and release of funds for the Polytechnics without further delay,”

“We demand the complete payment of salaries and arrears of minimum wage for staff in the Polytechnics starting from the period of implementation in April 2019,” the statement reads.

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