The comments of Hope Uzodimma, the Governor of Imo has sparked off a series of protests in Owerri, the state capital.
The Governor stated that “those complaining of unpaid salaries in Imo state are ghost workers or fraudsters”.
He further added that “This government has paid every genuine worker; those complaining of non-payment are either ghost workers or fraudsters. I am challenging anybody who has not received his or her salaries to come to Government House with his employment details and we will pay him or her immediately.”
In reaction to the comment, teachers numbering over 200 stormed the government house, Owerri with details of employment and placards.
One of the teachers at Community School, Udo in Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA, Mrs. Grace Ajaegbu, who said she has spent 29 years in service, said, “I was employed and I started teaching in 1992. Since the tenure of this our governor began, I have not received a dime. The last salary I got was in February 2020. This is complete 12 months now; I have not received a dime. I’m not a fraudster as the governor claimed, neither am I a ghost worker.
“I’m old enough in the field and preparing for my retirement this year when I would have completed 30 years in service. But, see where they left me. I am a widow and running blood pressure every day. As I’m standing now, I’m feeling as if I’m going to fall. My children in the school are suffering because I’m the only one taking care of their well-being and education. As I’m talking to you now, 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 and that he should please reconsider and pay us”.
On her part, Mrs. Juliet Akalazu from Mbaitoli who said she had spent eight years in service, said, “since March last year, I have not received any Kobo as a salary.