Huriwa Charges Uzodinma On Transparent Governance;
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the Imo State governor Mr. Hope Uzodinma to immediately pay the state civil servants their three Months salaries and work out concrete policy directive on the attainment of comprehensive good governance standards in Imo State.
HURIWA a pro-transparency platform, also accused the administration of Mr. Hope Uzodinma of squandering the state's resources on petty fights with the immediate past governor of the State Mr. Emeka Ihedioha rather than pay attention to the yearnings and aspirations of the suffering masses of Imo state who have only just come out of eight years of torture and poor governance by the then administration of Mr. Rochas Okorocha who failed spectacularly to build enduring legacies and infrastructures for the collective benefits of the good people of Imo state.
HURIWA said: "Uzodinma will have the judgment of history against him if he sustains this lacklustre performance and to squander the goodwill of the people of Imo State. He needs to start governing Imo state and stop investing the public finances on waging meaningless political wars with perceived opponents. The Imo State governor at the moment must try to win the trust of the people most of whom still view him as a usurper or an imposter imposed on the state by the Abuja based Supreme Court of Nigeria. Stop the sidetalks and walk the talk of real governance and discharge the social contract of making Imo state prosperous and peaceful for investors to find it attractive to invest and industrialize Imo state to provide employment opportunities for the teeming learned youths."
HURIWA said owing the state's workforce accumulated wage bills amounted to the violations of their Fundamental Human Rights enshrined in chapter four of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended with specific reference to the provisions on the Right to life (Section 33(1); section 42 which is a prohibition of any discriminatory practices of governments and other relevant constitutional provisions that speaks to the obligation of the state to uphold the dignity of the human persons as contained in section 34 that confers on the citizens the Right to the dignity of their person just as that provisions of the grund norm states that "No person SHALL be subject to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment; neither SHALL any person be held in Slavery or servitude ; and no person SHALL BE REQUIRED TO PERFORM FORCED OF COMPULSORY Labour. To continue to deny Imo state civil servants of their legitimate wages is to turn them into slavery which is absolutely unlawful."
HURIWA also reminded Hope Uzodinma that failure to discharge the government's binding financial obligations to the Imo State workforce is a violation of Article one of the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS that "All human beings are born equal in DIGNITY and RIGHTS. They are endowed with reason and CONSCIENCE and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
HURIWA told Hope Uzodinma that his flagrant disregard for the payment on time of the emolument and wages of the civil servants whereas his office is awash with public fund that are enjoyed by his privileged clique amounts to gross discrimination which offends section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended which states thus: “ (1) A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:- (a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or (b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions. (2) No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth. (3) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes restrictions with respect to the appointment of any person to any office under the State or as a member of the armed forces of the Federation or member of the Nigeria Police Forces or to an office in the service of a body, corporate established directly by any law in force in Nigeria.”
HURIWA which carpeted governor Hope Uzodinma for appointing over 500 aides and for running a very expensive political bureau to the detriment of the development of the State and the building of solid infrastructures in Imo State has reminded him that he is legally obliged to pay workers and pensioners or else his administration would be dragged to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and affiliate offences commission(ICPC) to give account of how the huge money he claims to have generated as Internal Revenues and the share of Imo state from the Monthly FEDERAL Allocations are spent.
HURIWA recalled that the the Imo State workers had few days back publicly urged Governor Uzodimma to pay them their outstanding three months salaries to save them from the hardship and suffering they are currently facing.
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) recalled that the Imo State's organised workforce that Spoke through organised labour during the celebration of this year’s Workers Day in Owerri at the weekend, they said the effects of lockdown in the state occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic had worsened their plight just as they lamented that despite the Governor’s directive for payment of their salaries before the end of every month, they were yet to receive February to April 2020 salaries.
HURIWA recalled that the workers also regretted the state government’s withholding of check-off dues of industrial unions for up to 46 months in some parastatals and agencies just as the State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Austin Chilakpu, in his address, disclosed that workers in 19 parastatals and agencies had not been paid their salaries.
HURIWA is therefore appealing to the National leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Association of Local government employees to free themselves from compromises from the Presidency and the governors and to wage law based battles against the unconstitutional treatment of the Imo State civil servants by a man who benefitted enormously from the Judicial system when the Supreme Court of Nigeria gave him the office of the governor of Imo State which means that he, much more than any other person must comply ABSOLUTELY WITH HIS LAWFUL OBLIGATION SUCH AS PAYMENTS OF SALARIES.