Any Christmas for sacked Abia workers?

14

BY ROBERT OBIOHA

At this festive period of peace, love and happiness, it is sad that some Nigerians who were, due to no fault of theirs, sacked from their legitimate employment simply because they were branded non-indigenes by Abia State governor, Chief T.A. Orji on August 25, 2011, are yet to be paid their severance entitlements many months after they were forcefully relieved of their jobs.

Some of these workers are mainly from sister Igbo states of Anambra, Imo, Enugu and Ebonyi. They include Abia State daughters married to indigenes of these non-indigene states in the South-East. It beats all logic to regard an Igbo as a non-indigene in any of the South-East states.

Even at the point of writing this piece, there are many Abia people working in Imo, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi states civil service. Igbo people work practically in other states civil service in the country including Lagos, Rivers and others. State creation does not mean that Nigerian citizens from one state cannot elect to work in another state if they are eminently qualified for such jobs. Rather than embark on this selfish and narrow restriction of Nigerians, effort should be made to allot certain percentage of jobs in any state of the federation for the so-called non-indigenes as a way of enhancing our national integration and unity.

The irony of the Abia saga is that these civil servants were lawfully engaged and they have worked for Abia State for many years that they do not deserve the kind of treatment meted to them by Umuahia in the first place. There is indeed no justifiable reason for T.A. Orji’s ill-thought-out action. The sack did not in any way translate to more jobs for Abians as the government was later to rationalize. Instead, it has pitched her citizens against Igbos from the affected states. Not even pleas by well-meaning Igbos and other Nigerians could persuade Orji to rescind its unpopular decision.

It is not a surprise therefore to read from the media that the aggrieved sacked workers have taken their case to the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, a legal based non-governmental organization (NGO) demanding their entitlements from Abia State.

Speaking on behalf of the sacked 2,604 non-indigene workers sacked by T.A. Orji, their leader Mrs. Rose Okafor, from Anambra State explained that the sacked workers have stayed for 15 months without salaries. During this trying period, 67 of them have died. According to the statistical figures of the affected workers, Imo State recorded the highest number of casualties while Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi states have 607, 86 and 87 respectively.
While the workers are asking Orji to pay their entitlements, which by law, is their right, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has condemned T.A.Orji’s failure to re-absorb sacked non-natives in the employment of the state public service and called for their immediate re-instatement. In a letter to the governor signed by its Secretary-General, Alade Lawal, the union regretted that Abia State Government had refused to re-absorb the sacked employees including Abia women natives married to “outsiders” despite pleas by the trade unions, religious leaders, royal fathers, human rights organizations and other eminent Nigerians.

There are now two options for Umuahia to deal with this self-inflicted problem. The government should either recall the workers and pay them all outstanding salaries or pay them all their severance entitlements. That is the only way the government can redeem is battered image in the eyes of the public as far as this issue is concerned. It is inhuman to treat workers in this manner, especially by a government that lay claim to be on the side of the people. It will be better for Abia government to recall the sacked workers.

It is the easiest and better option if I may advise them.
When other geo-political zones are rooting for regional integration, the non-indigene policy of T.A. Orji is a disservice to the South-East geo-political zone. It is against the spirit of Igbo unity. It is divisive and anti-progress. The governor should do the needful by recalling these workers he sacked unjustifiably. He should use this season of love and peace as epitomized by Christ’s birth to correct the injustice meted to these workers and their families. Those that have died as a result of the sack should be paid all their entitlements and compensation as well.

A vote for fewer parties
I heaved a great sigh of relief when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) scrapped 28 political parties in the country, in pursuant of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).

Expectedly such noble action by the electoral umpire attracted mixed reactions from a cross section of the society. While some hailed INEC, others faulted it. Some of the leaders of the affected political parties as usual threatened fire and brimstone. They all vowed to resist INEC’s ban. They also see the proscription as a grand design by the ruling PDP to reduce the number of parties in the country. They have also argued that INEC has no right to outlaw them. But the fact remains that INEC has powers to register and de-register parties. Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 78 (1) and (7) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) confer on INEC the power to register or de-register political parties in the country.

The affected parties were found wanting in so many areas. One of them is that none of parties has won a seat either at the National or State Assemblies elections. Most of them have no verifiable headquarters. Some of them have failed to constitute their National Executive Committee (NEC).

While the dust raised by the scrapping of 28 parties is yet to settle, INEC has again sacked three additional political parties thus bringing the number of those axed so far to 31. I commend INEC for a job well done and even urge it to further prune the parties. Nigeria as presently constituted does not need more than 10 political parties. Ideally, five parties will be okay. In our First, Second and Third Republics, we had not more than five serious political parties in contention.

A system that allows every Dick and Harry to own a political party is wrong. It does not advance the course of democracy nor does it add value to our electoral system. Having a small number of manageable parties will strengthen our democracy. In short, having two strong political parties as obtainable in most advanced democracies, especially the United States, where we modeled our presidential system will augur well for us. It will also help in having a strong opposition.

The problem with having over 58 parties before the recent pruning is that the opposition is very weak and cannot reasonably challenge the octopus PDP. With more parties going, the future is bright for strong opposition to emerge. Nigerian politics will fare better under two strong parties. That is what INEC should be encouraged to aim at.
The unwieldy nature of our ballot paper supports the need to reduce the number of parties. Of what use is a party that could not win a seat at either the National or State Assemblies elections? Such a party has been rejected by the people and therefore should not be allowed to exist. Government should stop giving political parties any financial support.

It is such practice in the past that encouraged the springing up of all manner of parties in the country. Let all parties be self-financing. There is the need to instill order in the way we do things. Politics is not trading where high return on investment is expected. Let Nigerians find something to do for a living other than politics. Politics should not be for jobless individuals.

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14 Comments

  1. A senior officer of aba north, were sacked from her post last year because of this same isue, on 24th this month a friend left a two months baby at her care to rush home and get something, since the sell in the same place, when customers started floading in, she have to attend to them but not with the months old baby, the she handed over the baby to her son who was about 12yrs old, a lady came and wish to carry this little baby, and then send the 12yr old boy to go and buy udara for her, before you know it, the lady ran away with the baby, leaving two friends in a serious war against each other, if not that the lady were sacked just for nothing, she will not be selling okirika cloths to find herself into this mess, her salary has not been paid for one year now. Government of abia state is highly frustrated, the worst government so far

    • Ndi ochichi (ndi no na Ala-Igbo na ndi no na mgbago), ihe oma unu ga-emere onwe unu bu iletu anya ala ugbu a mara ezigbo ihe unu ga ebido imere Ndigbo. Unu ga agba nbo meputawa ezigbo ihe na-ala Igbo nke ga eme ka umu aka anyi na enweta ezigbo ihe ha ga neme wee hapu itinyewa aka na ajo ihe. Ochichi unu n’achi Ndigbo mere ihe ojoo dika ori, ndi-nto, na igwo ogwu ego jiri buo ibu n’ala Igbo karisie ebe nile. Ewoo! Jisos onye obi ebele! Ndi ochichi anyi, a choro m ime ka unu mara na ochichi ojoo unu na achi anyi mere umu aka Igbo ji juputa na Ulo-Nga (nkporo) di iche iche na obodo di iche iche. Ulo-Nga (nkporo) Chaina, Jamani, Amirica, Malesia, Indonesia na nke di na obodo ndi ozo di iche iche ga agbara m aka ebe.

      E jim ohere a na-eme ka ndi nile bu ndi Ikorobia n’ala Igbo mara na oge erugo mgbe anyi g’ebilite n’ura. Ihe obuna ndi ochichi anyi ma obu ndi Naijiria choro Ugbu a ka ha ga-enweta, ha choo mma ha enweta mma, ha choo njo ha enweta njo. Ndigbo abughi ndi Naijiria, anyi bu ndi Biafra. Naijiria choo k’anyi buru otu, ha nye anyi Ochichi na afo puku abuo na iri na ise, ha ga-emezukwara anyi Steeti anyi ka ozue ezu di ka nke ndi ozo.

      I g’enweta m na: nkiti asato nkiti ato itolu ano nkiti asato otu itolu abuo

  2. T.A.ORJI IS A STUBBORN,UNINFORMED,SECTIONAL RULER.PEOLE LIKE HIM ARE NUMBER ONE OF IGBO PEOPLE.HERE IN LAGOS IGBOS ARE PART OF THE GOVT.WHEN PEOPLE TALK ABOUT BIAFRA AND IGBO PRESIDENCY,I AM ALWAYS NOT EAGER TO SUPPORT THEM BECAUSE THERE ARE MANY T.A.ORJIS IN IGBOLAND WHO TREAT THEIR OWN BROTHERS LIKE A PIECE OF SHIT,EVEN WHEN THEY ARE ACCEPTED OUTSIDE IGBOLAND.

  3. TA Orji is emperor Nero in disguise why cant him reason by discriminately sacked fellow igbos in his state upon pleading from reputable men he will reap the fruit of his labour,fly that has no adviser follows corpse to the grave.

  4. And our own governor Rochas Okorocha made someone from Abia his special assistant on Lagos affair. T A Orji is a disgrace thats why his people booed him during the burial of Ojukwu.

  5. WE SHOULD STRIPE OFF HIM(T. A ORJI) THAT HIS RED CAP.HE IS NOT A SYMBOL OF IGBO MAN, FULL OF HATRED AND WICKEDNESS. LIKE HITLER IS REMEMBERED FOR NAZISM AND HOLOCAUST,I ASK YOU THEODORE, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BE REMEMBERED OF? YOU’VE MADE THE WORST MISTAKE IN THE HISTORY OF YOUR LIFE.DON’T YOU HAVE GOOD ADVISERS? SHAME TO YOU.I CANNOT TELL YOU WHAT TO DO BECAUSE YOU ARE CREATED WITH A CONSCIENCE AND SO YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO EVEN IF YOU DON’T KNOW GOD THE BETTER PART OF YOUR CONSCIENCE SHOULD GUIDE YOU.

  6. Treat your fellow human being the way you would like to be treated. The price for wickedness and inhumanity is usually unimaginable. The bible says that there is no peace for the wicked. T. A. Orji, omume gi ajoka. Chetakwa na Chineke na ele gi. Echi eteka. Those sycophants and challatans around you would certainly turn against you one day. It doesn’t matter your status today, think of your status tomorrow. Ndi i na achi na ahuju anya. From all indications, Abians are not comfortable with you T. A. Orji. You can gather all the money in the world but when the chips are down, you’ll certainly know that God Almighty exists.

  7. This goes a long way to show that the five eastern governors are representing only their families and their pockets. while their sons and daughters are dying and suffering as a result of their follow governors wickedness, they fold their hands and look the other way. The omnipotent God will judge all of them

  8. OUK all through his time as gov of Abia state accomodated these people and never owed them salary, the records are there; now T.A.Orji has come up and implemented this his evil and occultic policy and yet is owing workers of the state up to six months salary. People, you now know who the real bad guy is. My sympathy to all those affected by this policy and those not paid salaries, pensioners inclusive.

  9. Chineke, Chukwunna, Chikadibia, Chiobioma, Dikenagha, Odogwuakataka, Onyiukwu, Ojinkatakurummiri, Onyiike, Ononigwe-ogodo-ya-nakpunala, Echeta-obi-esieike, Agbakata-dike-izu-agbariaya, Omakaosidiri-ndiigbo, Chinenyeamamihe, Chinenyeudo, Igwenezereoha, Chinekediagidigba, Eze-ndi-eze, Chukwuobiebere, Ndi-Okposi n’akpo gi Owereivewereenyi. O nwere aha aga etu gi ga ezuru gi Chukwunegbomkpa? Ndigbo nile na enye gi ekele na udo nke itinyere na etiti anyi na afo puku abuo na iri na abuo a. I zoputara anyi n’aka ndi ojoo n’agbanyeghi atumatu ekwensu na ndi-olu ya. Ekwensu si uzo di iche iche gbaa mgba gbagide Ndigbo ma na-ulo ma na-ezi, kama o nweghi ihe gbara gi ghari. Chineke, anyi enweghi onye ozo ma ewezuga gi, anyi dika ndi ajuru aju ma n’ala Igbo, na Naijeria, ma na mba uwa nile, anyi enweghi ndi Ndu (nke ka nke na Ebonyi na Abia Steeti), anyi enweghi onye na ekwuchitara anyi. Ihe juputara ala Igbo bu ndi ochichi (ochichi nchigbu). Ezichi, biko gbanwere anyi ndi ochichi a wee nye anyi ndi ndu dika anyi n’abanye n’afo ohuru a. Gi onwe gi ma na Igbo enweghi eze, Ojukwu anwuola, ike a gwukwuola Uwazuruike, biko Eze-ndi-eze, anyi a yoo gi mgbahara site na aha nwa gi bu Jisos. Na ezie, anyi ejehiela, anyi akpasuola gi iwe ebe o di ukwuu, anyi di dika unyi na iru gi. Uwa nile na ahuzi anyi dika ndi ori, ndi nto, ndi ogwu ego, ndi ajuru aju, ndi ejikotaghi onwe ha onu, na ndi ajo ihe ojoo nile di iche iche. Biko Chineke, e jim anya mmiri egburu gi ikpere n’ala wee n’ayo gi mgbaghara na isi Ndigbo nile, ihere na emezi m. Gini ka nwoke si mba Ofesi lota ka ya nye aka dozie obodo ya na Enugu mere ndi a wezugara ndu (gbagburu) ya. Nwoke lotara ulo ka ya nyere ndi obodo ya aka wee si otu ahu laa mmuo. Anyi akpasuola gi iwe nke ukwuu, anyi emeruola ala, anyi amaghi ihe, anyi joro njo, anyi ekweghi ekwe. Kama Chiobiebere, onweghi ihe nyiri gi omume, sachaa ala Igbo ka o di ocha, mere anyi ebere, mee ka anyi wufue ihe ojoo nile ndia ka ha soro afo puku abuo na iri na abuo a laa mmuo, mee ka anyi banye n’afo puku abuo na iri na ato na ejighi ajo omume ndia. Biere anyi ekwensu aka n’aja, Jikota ndigbo nile, kuziere anyi ihe bu ihunanya, mee ka udo bata na etiti anyi dika anyi n’abanye na afo ohuru a n’aha Jisos bu onye nwe Ndigbo nile, Amin.

    I g’enweta m na: nkiti asato nkiti ato itolu ano nkiti asato otu itolu abuo

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