Street Sweepers Hold SSG Hostage In Cross River | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Street Sweepers Hold SSG Hostage In Cross River

Posted: Oct 5, 2015 at 8:18 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Nsa Gill, Calabar

Street sweepers and “grass cutters” in Calabar, Cross River State capital, on Monday held the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Martina Agbor,  hostage at the Calabar Urban Development Authority (CUDA), where she went to take inventory of the authority’s vehicles and other facilities.

Mrs. Agbor arrived the office of the sanitation authority located at the Ibrahim Babangida Way in the state capital and went straight to meet with the Executive Secretary, Mr. Joemary Ekeng Ita, to get details of the capacity of the authority to clean up Calabar which in recent times had been witnessing overflowing refuse dumps in many parts of the city.

The governor recently cancelled the sanitation contract which was given to a contractor over the years and directed CUDA to take over responsibility.

Workers in the agency numbering about 500 on noticing her presence, mobilised and waited patiently while she was shown round the premises until the inspection was over and she wanted to leave the place.

Then the workers angry that they have not been paid their N5,000 allowances for seven months surrounded her demanding for their accumulated allowances or she would not leave the place.

She was held up in her car until a detachment of the Police came to take her out of the premises.

Reacting to the incident, the SSG said the government does not owe the workers but the contractors handling the evacuation of refuse in the state capital was the one owing.

“They are saying that government owes them and I ask, owe you how?  Look at the book, they have over 200 workers and yet the town is still dirty.  What do we owe them for? Who are those that have been working? That was what brought me here,” she said.

She stated that she wanted to “re-engage ” the sanitation workers as government has terminated its relationship with the contractor who handled the evacuation, saying government was ready to fish out ghost workers from its service.