No fewer than 40 workers, who were recently disengaged by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) on Thursday, staged a peaceful protest in Osogbo, Osun State capital, as theycalled for their reinstatement in the interest of justice and fairness.
The protesters, who waved placards containing various inscriptions accusing the Director General of NIMC, Mr. Chris Onyemenem of sacking them unjustly after serving for over 27 years as civil servants, also decried the paltry sum paid to them as gratuity.
Chairman of the Nigeria Civil Service Union in the state, Comrade Abiona Isiaka Olakunle explained that the commission sacked the workers wrongly without any offence or crime.
“We received letter of disengagement from NIMC on 31st December, last year and the commission paid us 323,000 each for our layoff. We are surprised and embarrassed that they are giving us such ridiculous amount of money as our gratuity after serving the federal government for up to 27 years.
“We wish to state that the manner in which we were layoff was fraudulent and questionable as we did not commit any crime to warrant the sack. The excuse they gave was that we do not possess higher education qualification such as Degree and Higher National Diploma whereas many of us possess NCE”.
Meanwhile, a civil society group, Committee for Democracy and Right of the People, (CDRP) has threatened to sue Mr. Onyemenem if he fails to address the matter and reinstate the sacked works within two weeks.
Acting Chairman of CDRP, Comrade Saka Waheed described the action of the NIMC DG as barbaric, unlawful and unjust. He lamented that the Commission failed to follow due process in sacking the workers and insisted that the Commission must recall the sacked workers.
“We shall fight this matter on behalf of these forty workers sacked unlawfully by the DG of NIMC. If the Onyemenem fails to recall these workers, we shall sue him to court and we shall pursue the case to logical conclusion. Also, we have resolved to forward a petition to the National Assembly on this matter”, Waheed said.