Rivers State: Wike throws workers out of their homes unto the street
Workers engaged under the Rivers State Civil Service are reportedly going through agonizing times in the hands of officials of the Wike administration.
They are being harassed, hounded out of their homes and thrown unto the streets by a government that ought to protect them.
A worker told the PORT HARCOURT TELEGRAPH, “We are being punished by the Wike administration. Some of us supported this government; and even campaigned for it in the field.”
“You cannot say this is what the Civil Service has benefited from this latter day government”, another worker who gave his name as Joe remarked.
Joe is a civil servant who has put in years of service. He is the head of a family of four that is struggling to make ends meet.
“Each time my family groans, I curse my luck and I curse Wike. Those of us decided to embrace the civil service did so in order to contribute our own quota to society.
“Wike has put us (I mean Civil Servants) in a mess”, Joe stressed, “He does not care about what is happening to our families.
“In so far as he is concerned, we are not even humans. We are subhuman. Mere objects that should be used anyhow.”
According to information at our disposal, workers have largely been at the receiving end since the advent of the Wike administration.
Many workers in the State have been denied promotion in spite of existing regulations which provide a time frame for their elevation in service.
There are reports, according to our findings, which show that Rivers workers are equally being denied the payment of other benefits and statutory allowances calculated on annual basis.
“Now, workers are being thrown out of their official residences in Port Harcourt by a government that ought to protect them”, Ngozi observed.
“I am not a Civil Servant”, Ngozi continued, “I work in the organized private sector. This is not how to treat human beings at all. Where does Wike
Whereas tenancy agreements require property owners to allow a three -month – period to enable persons make alternate accommodation arrangements, occupants of buildings owned by government are being given one month to pack out.
A rights group based in Port Harcourt, Peoples Rights Protection Initiative, has taken up the fight. It is urging workers to resist the Wike administration.
A statement issued by its Convener, WariSenibo-elect, Chris Finebone said the action of the Rivers State Government is totally unacceptable and cruel.
Part of the statement issued by Peoples Rights Protection Initiative read:
“With 22 months to the end of its lifespan, the Wike administration has revived its plan to eject civil servants from government buildings and quarters in the Government Reserved Areas (GRAs) to pave way to sharing those buildings amongst the administration’s top politicians.
“What many had long suspected became reality when last week the government through the Head of Service, Mr. Godwin Rufus summoned top civil servants and verbally handed down the directive for those occupying government quarters in the reserved areas to prepare to quit such quarters.
“Fearing that the plot will receive harsh response by the civil servants and the public, Mr. Rufus decided to hand down the directive verbally instead of doing so through the usual government memo.
“It would be recalled that about two years ago, the Wike government had activated the process of quitting civil servants from government quarters in the GRAs, but backed down in the face of massive resistance from the civil servants and the public.
“It is believed that the present attempt is expected to be prosecuted to its logical conclusion since the politicians have become desperate to share those properties as the administration winds down in office.”
The non governmental organisation beams its searchlight on growing allegations that Wike is determined to weed people out of choice areas like GRA that are reserved in order to give the Ikwerre people a proper foldhold.
The Government which is yet to unmask the face of the unknown investor that is fencing off the property at Ikokwu taken from Igbo spare parts traders is keeping quiet in the face of growing claims that its leader has allegedly transformed into a budding land grabber.
Several plots of land and buildings in Old GRA, Rumuprikom, GRA Phase 1 and 2 are disappearing from the control of ordinary people.
While some allege Wike is the one acquiring these properties, others insist a clannish way of securing plots of land for people of an ethnic group has commenced.
The rights movement agrees, “Another angle to the saga is that the re-allocation of those buildings are to take certain predetermined ethnic line in view of the raging argument of the true ownership of Port Harcourt.
“It is rumoured that Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) will be hurriedly issued to their new owners who have already been shortlisted to reflect the preferred ethnic group.”
Finebone who released the statement urged civil servants to stand up to decision of those who are hiding behind the State Government to push out civil servants from government quarters.
“At this point, the reasonable thing to do is for the civil servants presently occupying such property to resist the directive and the attempt to eject them with every opportunity availed by law. Such insidious apartheid style ejections in this 21st Century must be resisted by the occupiers.”
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