A section of civil servants in Cross River State have threatened to work against and frustrate Governor Ben Ayade’s re-election bid over issues of promotion of civil servants, accusing the Governor of insincerity.
Speaking under the umbrella of ‘Workers’ Solidarity Front,’ leader of the group, Saviour Akpeyi, said Gov Ayade was deliberately buying time over the promotion exercise so that workers would return him to office before finally abandoning the exercise.
He alleged that the promotion process which commenced since last year, was fraught with deceit, and that even at that, the Governor “was frustrating efforts by the civil service commission to promote workers as he is not in support of the promotion exercise from the beginning, “but had to agree in principle when NLC threatened to go on strike last year.”
“We are not blaming the NLC because the governor has surreptitiously stopped the exercise. If you look at the whole thing, you will see the finger of the governor. Or how do you explain a situation where people were given letters and started collecting salaries based on their new status only for the Accountant General’s office to stop such payment and revert to their old salary structure which carried their former level?” he asked rhetorically.
The group leader further alleged that the commission had finished typing promotion letters of civil servants in virtually all the MDAs “but the governor has asked them to hold on claiming that the state does not have money to pay workers if the promotion is implemented.”
According to the group leader, the commission was only playing a hide-and-seek game with the promotion exercise, adding, “any serious commission would have sent out over eighty percent letters of promotion by January this year. First, the commission did not resume on time. Now, many of the letters have been typed but are still there in the commission. What are the letters doing there? That shows that the governor is aware of this ploy and only wants to look the other way.”
“We are at a loss as to why the commission started the process in the first place. Some people were promoted last and were paid but they later stopped the payment, while many have since gone for interviews and their letters are stuck at the commission.”
“What does it take the commission to send out letters or ask heads of the various MDAs to come and collect letters for the workers? Is the commission saying that workers are not aware of the fact that the promotion exercise has been abandoned at the behest of the governor? Or how many years would it take the commission to finish the exercise so that workers can start enjoying their new status?”
They said they were ready to mobilize workers in the various MDAs to vote against the governor if their promotion was not implemented this year, adding “We are ready to mobilize workers to vote the current administration in the state out of office if our promotion is not implemented. Workers have done it before and we are ready to do it again. We cannot allow anybody to frustrate our future because promotion is our right and we need the promotion not as a gift but as a right.”