By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—WORKERS disengaged from the Abia State Civil Service in 2011, have sent a save our soul message to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to pay them their entitlements and save them from hunger and death.Ikpeazu
The workers lamented that they have been made to suffer untold hardship for seven years since they were disengaged from service without their entitlements paid and urged the governor to review the policy and pay them off.
Former Governor Theodore Orji had on October 1, 2011, disengaged over 4,000 non indigenous workers in the state civil service and later recalled those from non Igbo states.
In an interview with Vanguard in Aba, leader of the disengaged workers, Mrs Fidelia Ihejirika, said about 92 of the workers have died out of frustration while others could barely feed their families or send their children to school.
She urged the governor to review what she described as the wicked policy of his predecessor in inflicting suffering on workers and their families whose only offence was their state of origin.
“We have made several appeals to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu to look into our situation. We will continue to appeal to him to review this wicked policy of his predecessor in inflicting hardship on the poor workers and their families whose only offence is their state of origin. “Since October 2011, over 92 of the disengaged workers have died out of frustration. Some others could barely feed their families or send their children to school. Most of us are widows. Many have since relocated to their villages because they could no longer afford rent.
“If workers who are being owed three or four months arrears are crying, you can understand what it means for someone who has worked for 35 years to be disengaged without pay. “Some of us were disengaged at the peak of our career. It is a great injustice to disengage workers after 30 or 35 years of service without paying their entitlements.
“If we are paid, it would help to reduce our sufferings. This is why we are crying to Gov. Ikpeazu to come to our aid. We are aware that he is not the one who disengaged us, but as a Christian and Igbo leader, we are appealing to him to review this policy and pay our entitlements.”