|Gov. Yahaya Bello|
Many of the offices at the state secretariat, local council offices, public schools and other public institutions were securely locked up in compliance with the strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state.
The Guardian gathered that many civil servants working in government offices within the state secretariat complex and ministries in other locations in Lokoja, the state capital, did not turn up for work.
The NLC State Chairman, Mr. Onuh Edoka, who announced the strike at a news briefing in Lokoja, decried that about 45 per cent of the workers in the state were yet to receive their salaries in the last one year due to the screening exercise.
He said many workers had lost their lives in the hands of kidnappers and armed robbers while others died in accidents while embarking on journeys for the various phases of screening exercise in the last 14 months.
Edoka, who lauded the courage of the workers and the leaders, said: “It is an indication that the workers in one voice have stated that what government is doing to them is detrimental to their interest and survival.
“The compliance with this strike is a warning that if the government does not fulfil its promise to pay salaries by end of March and reverse its decision to tag workers in its employ as ghosts, then they can only imagine what to expect next.”
The NLC boss said the workers were cajoled by the state government to believe some concocted propaganda that could not stand the test of time.
According to him: “In a situation whereby about 65 per cent of the workers are affected, nobody knows the fate of those that were cleared and uncleared.”
He pleaded with the workers to sustain the tempo till tomorrow when they will converge at their duty-posts and await the outcome of the fourth stage of the screening.