Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has appealed to the state and national leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to shelve the planned protest against the suspension of parastatal workers in the state.
Labour had recently threatened to mobilize and shutdown the state if the governor failed to recall the over 3,000 workers of the 19 parastatals, agencies and departments, who he summarily suspended recently.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, read, “His Excellency has wished that instead of embarking on the protest that might end up not benefitting anyone, the National Leadership of the NLC should be patriotic enough to advise the leadership of the NLC in the state to honour their invitations to participate in the high-powered 18-member committee set up by the state governor to review the cases of the staff affected by the suspension in question, so that the matter can be resolved amicably in the spirit of no victor, no vanquished.
“The committee would have been inaugurated last Tuesday, but it could not take place because the labour representatives did not come for the exercise.
“The committee has the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) chairman in the state, chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), chairman Nigeria Medical Association, Imo State chapter, chairman National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Representative of Magistrates Association, Representative of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) IMSU, Imo Polytechnic, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), chairman of Imo State branch of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and Representative of the Judiciary Service Union of Nigeria, (JUSUN) as members.
“On the part of the Government, the Head of Service, Principal Secretary to the Governor, the Attorney General, the Accountant General, Commissioner of Finance, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Principal Secretary to the Deputy Governor are also members of the committee. The chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM Eze Samuel Ohiri is equally a member.
“This is a high-profiled committee and the governor believes that with this calibre of people in the committee whatever is the bone of contention between the government and the labour union in the state over the suspension issue can be resolved.
“The government has repeatedly explained that the suspension of the parastatal workers was not an outright sack or dismissal. The suspension was to enable the new managements of the establishments involved to take off in earnest.
“So, the essence of the 18-member committee is to look at the cases of these workers and decide whether to post all of them out to other government ministries and establishments or to even ask some of them to go back to the parastatals. And until the committee sits and takes decision on the suspended workers, nobody could accuse the government of any wrong doing”.