5th July, 2022
Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
Rivers government has warned civil servants in the state against joining the strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress,NLC, tomorrow, Wednesday, in solidarity with members of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, who have been on strike for the past five months.
Rivers Head of Service, HOS, Rufus Godwin, gave the warning after meeting with the civil servants at the state Secretariat on Tuesday.
Godwin told the civil servants that they have no reason to participate in the strike as Rivers State Government is not owing its lecturers salaries and emoluments.
He added that lecturers in the State Universities and ASUU branches of the institutions are therefore not participating in the over 140 days nationwide strike.
The HOS warned that “Heads of all the departments have been instructed to take roll call of Civil servants from tomorrow and any absentee without official permission with be meted with appropriate sanctions according to the laid down Civil Service rules”.
“As you are all aware,the our Universities have concluded their first semester examinations and they are warming up for the second semester. So, we have no business joining in sympathy or solidarity with a Union whose employer is foot dragging in meeting its demands.”
The Head of Service also warned Civil Servants against partisanship.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Secretariat of the NLC has been barricaded by security vans of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, since June 16.
It was gathered that the NSCDC personnel were there to prevent the NLC state chairperson, Beatrice Itubo, who is the Governorship candidate of the Labour party, from gaining access to the Secretariat.
The state Vice Chairman of NLC, Emecheta Chukwu, had said he is the new chairman of the Union following Mrs Itubo’s emergence as the Labour Party’s governorship candidate.
But Mrs Itubo said there is no provision in the Constitution that says a member shall resign his or her position when contesting for an elective position.