Imo state teachers in primary and secondary schools lamented over non-payment of 12 months salaries by the government.
The angry teachers staged a protest at the State House as early as 8am, chanting solidarity songs such as “We are not ghost workers,” “Hope we are not fraudsters,” “Pay us our one year salaries.”
They said their salaries were last paid in February 2020, after one month Hope Uzodinma became governor.
The teachers stated that the non-payment of their salaries and a curing areas had brought untold hardship and suffering on them and their families; appealing to the governor to offset the arrears.
During the one year anniversary of Governor Uzodinma at the Dan Ayam stadium, in his address to the people of Imo, he noted that any civil servant who claims not to have been paid should come to the Government House, Owerri.
A teacher from community school, Udo Ezinihitte Mbaise, Mrs Grace Ajaegbu, countered the governor, saying she had been tagged a ghost worker after spending 29years in service and not paid her salary.
“Since the tenure of this governor began, I have not received a dime. The last salary I got was in February 2020. It is 12 months now. I am not a fraudster as the governor claimed, neither am I ghost worker.
As am talking to you I have not eaten anything since yesterday. What did I do that I should be treated like this? If you look at where we are now, it is like saying that we are almost dead. Many of my colleagues are suffering from one ailment or the other. We are pleading with the governor, we are all Imo sons and daughters. He should please reconsider and pay us,” she lamented.
Another teacher Julie Akakzu from Mbaitoli, who has spent twenty eight years in service, preparing for retirement, said, “Since March last year, I have not received any kobo as salary”.
She also said the governor called them fraudsters and ghost workers; asking them to bring their document of employment on several occasions. It was said they carried out 13 different verifications; yet, no sign of getting paid.
“We submitted our documents to the office of the Accountant General; submitted to the Head of Service, submitted to the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Information, Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB), State Universal Basic Education Management Board(SUBEB), and so on.”
Lolo Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News