In Cross River State, more than 1,700 civil servants demonstrated in the streets on Tuesday in opposition to the non-payment of five years’ worth of salaries.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the protestors blocked the secretariat’s entrance after converging there as early as 7:30 a.m.
The demonstrators held up placards with diverse messages, sang songs of unity, and pleaded with the government to pay the protesters’ salaries.
Some of the inscriptions read: “where is the food on the table you promised? Hunger is everywhere. We are humans and not animals.”
“Gov Ayade, pay us our salaries. We were duly employed. Five years is not five days.”
Raphael Antigha, the protesters’ spokesman, claimed that since their employment between 2017 and 2018, they have not received any salaries.
“We have made many emissaries to the government to get them to pay us and each time, it is the same promises.
“The government has made us to undergo two screening and verification to resolve the issue and yet, the issue remains the same,” he said.
Mr Antigha said, “We were duly employed and have all been issued establishment number and even appointment letters and properly documented.
“We are just about 1,700 in number and the highest salary amongst us is N47, 000.
“Each time the government complains of no money and yet, he gives out hundreds of political appointments each week, where is he getting the money to pay them?”
Ogbang Akwaji, Head of Service, responded on behalf of the government and stated that no wages were owned by the government.
“Cross River government is one state that has placed a great premium on the welfare of its workforce, in spite the challenging revenue inflows.
“At the moment, July salaries have been paid to workers by the state government. There are no workers in the state who are being owed five years salaries,” he said.