By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—Following the decision of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, to offset the backlog of salaries and pensions owed workers when the next tranche of Paris Club refund is released to states; a group, Abia Disengaged Non Indigene Workers, has urged Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, to use part of the expected refund to pay off their entitlements.
Former Abia state governor, Theodore Orji, had on October 1, 2011, ordered the dismissal of over 4,000 non indigenes from the state workforce and later recalled those from non Igbo states.
Leader of the disengaged workers, Fidelia Ihejirika, made the appeal in Aba, lamenting that about 85 of them have died while others can barely feed families and urged the governor to pay their entitlements to enable them fend for themselves.
She said: “Since the Nigerian Governors Forum has resolved to offset the arrears of salaries and pensions owed workers when another Paris Club refund is released, we are appealing to Governor Ikpeazu to deploy part of the refund to pay us off.”
We have lost about 85 of our members since 2011. A good number of them died out of frustration because they had put in about 30 to 35 years in service as the time they were disengaged. Some of us are widows who cannot to send our children to school or pay for rent. Others have been forced to relocate to the villages.