Retrenched Abia Polytechnic Workers Demand Justice, Insist Exercise Targeted A Section Of The State

Suleiman Anyalewechi, Aba

For the umpteenth time, the over 250 staffers of the Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, who were pushed into the unemployment market in 2019 have reiterated their call on the Abia state new helmsman Dr Alex Otti to look into the circumstances that led to their sacking, insisting that their ordeal was politically and ethnically motivated.

They have also demanded for the setting up of a panel of inquiry to determine the veracity and or otherwise of the plethora of, but spurious claims adduced by the immediate past administration of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu for embarking on such inhuman exercise.

In an interaction with the press in Aba last weekend, leaders of the Polytechnic’s three industrial unions namely, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, SANIP, and Non Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic Staff, NASU, most of whom were equally swept away by the gale of retrenchment, put a liar on the  claims that the exercise was necessitated by an alleged over bloated workforce, noting that the exercise was simply targeted at people from a section of the state.

Spokesperson for the union leaders, Comrade Chucks Nwachukwu noted that findings have revealed that the retrenched workers were almost immediately replaced with people from a particular section of the state, thus confirming their earlier fears that the entire exercise may have been motivated by some primordial and clannish considerations.

Although, the matter is before an Industrial Court sitting in Owerri, the retrenched workers said they are appealing to the Gov Otti led administration to wade in and rescue the affected staff from further trauma and untimely deaths. 

“The unfortunate development has brought so much pains and even untimely deaths to the affected staff. As at the time we were asked to go, they were owing us about 16 months of salaries arrears, no gratuities and other entitlements that were supposed to aid us in starting a new life. Recently, we lost the former Polytechnic Librarian Mrs Floria Agwu, who couldn’t manage a challenging health situation, that she sustained in line of her duty. Generally, life has been tough for us, with our wards been driven out of schools every now and then because of non-payments of school fees,” Comrade Nwachukwu stated.

The retrenched workers further noted that  the panel of Inquiry if constituted will not only look in to the plights of affected workers, but be made to probe the state of affairs of the Polytechnic in the last few years, adding that so many shenanigans were carried out, including the appointment of an already retired staff of the Abia State University Uturu as a substantive Registrar in flagrant disregard of laws guiding public service.

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