IMO WORKERS DARE OKOROCHA
The organized labour in Imo State has threatened to declare a trade dispute with the state government should it carry out its commercialization policy, and mass transfer of civil servants to various communities. The state government had earlier declared to introduce commercialization policy state ministries and parastatals to generate their funds.
Addressing the civil servants yesterday, at the state secretariat along Owerri/Port Harcourt Road, the Chairman Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Comrade Coleman Opara said the commercialization policy of the government was unacceptable to the labour and threatened industrial dispute this week.
'There is fire on the mountain. It is improper and unconventional for any civil servant to lea information to the state government that we are holding our meeting today.'
'We are not going to leave any stone unturned to resist the government's commercialization policy and transfer of civil servants to communities where they will be paid by traditional rulers.
'We don't have effective and dynamic permanent secretaries and because of their jumbo salaries, they see themselves as politicians.'
Opara who warned that labour would deal with any permanent secretary in the state that issued letter of transfer to communities for the purpose establishment of the fourth tier government.
'We say no to the commercialization policy. No to the transfer of civil servants to various communities in the state. The policies are unacceptable to the labour.'
Opara accompanied by other labour leaders in the state including, the state chairman of NLC, Dr. Reginald Anyadike, NLC acting secretary Austin Chilampu, Trade Union Congress chairman, Nze C.O Aharanwa, observed that the labour had extended olive branch to the present administration than previous governments in the state.
The State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha who stormed the venue of the meeting earlier met a hostile civil servants that dished out some unprintable things on the commercialization policy and mass transfer of workers to various communities.
Okorocha ordered for the immediate transfer of all accountants in the state civil service, disclosing that the sum of N650 million has been saved from the payment of salaries to ghost workers.
He also disclosed that N1 billion has been saved from pension funds for illegal payment pensioners, saying that N650 million recovered from the payment of ghost workers would be used to build new judicial headquarters.
He ordered for the immediate commencement of investigation of frauds by accountants saying that any one found wanting would be arrested and prosecuted.
Okorocha who was visibly angry said, 'any day I wake up and discovers that there is love lost between the people of the state and myself, I will throw in the towel immediately. Some of you are now politicians holding secret meetings against me.
He therefore assured them that no civil servant would be sacked as a result of the downsizing but threatened to sack any civil servant that if failed to be transferred to the communities. He directed the state civil service commission to embark on massive promotion of civil servants.