SURE-P Task Force Protests Demolition Of Lagos Office | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

News

SURE-P Task Force Protests Demolition Of Lagos Office

Posted: Jul 3, 2015 at 8:12 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Adam Adedimeji, Lagos

 

 

Members of the Federal Task Force of the Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) on Friday, july 3, 2015 protested against the decision of the Lagos State government to demolish their headquarters at the O Toll Gate, obliterating their only source of hope.

The protesters picketed the Lagos State House of Assembly, many of them with their uniforms, letters of employment and  identity cards, brandishing several placards with messages such as “Exploitation! Exploitation!! Exploitation!!! Uniform N37,500, form N50,000, polo and cap N4,000”, among others. They demanded the payment of all their salaries in the last three years and retention of their jobs.

They argued that before the demolition of the SURE-P head office, either  the state government or the Federal Government ought to have called them to a meeting to keep them abreast of developments and the status of their employment.

They said they were about 51,000 and have worked for years and some have even lost their lives in the process of working for the agency.

They identified those who extorted them as National Coordinator/Commandant of the agency, Abdulrasaq Rafiu;  Peoples Democratic Party chieftain and  task force coordinator, Olabode George; Adeseye Ogunlewe; Federal Task Force chiefs, Da-Silva and Oluremi Adeniji, among others.

One of the protesters, Nicholas Akam, who presented a letter confirming his appointment since January 13, 2015 as an Intelligence Officer, said he was not paid since he was employed with a salary of N150,000 per month. He said they need the training allowance government has paid, their salary arrears and their jobs.

Speaking for his colleagues, spokesperson for SURE-P Federal Taskforce, Ikon Ikwuagwu, said they were at the Lagos State House of Assembly to demand for their rights.

“ We are agitating for our rights, we are being dehumanised, we have been promised employment by the Federal Government as you can rightfully see in the letters of appointment.

“We can also give you the ID cards as you can see, it is official as you can see. In the course of this training many women lost pregnancy, many people died, we lost all the jobs we were managing with in the first instance because we felt we had more prospects with the Federal Government because we believe it is a federal job.

“They wrote on the form, not for sale, under the guise of bringing us in, but when we get in they began to screen us, they began to ask us to pay. Because of our desperation for the federal jobs we began to pay.

“We bought the uniform N32,500, some us paid for form N30,000, some paid N50,000, I paid N150,000, my sister paid N130,000. We paid for many things.

“That is not what we are here for.  What we are saying is that we are the pivots of the nation, the youth are the pivot of the nation, therefore, why should we be defrauded, why should covernment allow their logo, their properties to be used to defraud the youths of this nation?

“What we call terrorism starts this way. For three years we have been working, we have been waking up by 4am and going to the headquarters and now they want to dump us.

“We are more than 51,000 recruited since three years. So there is no way they can dump people without any compensation even if they want to stop this job. We have been coming here in the last three years. So we need our jobs, we are well coordinated,  we are well organised, because many of us, out of desperation may be forced to do something, because a hungry man is an angry man,” he said.

The Lagos State PDP has said that the Federal Government paid the Lagos State government under former Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration a total sum of N68 billion under the  SURE-P  arrangement.

When Daily Independent contacted those who were mentioned as the cause of the workers’ predicament, there was no response, as neither George nor Ogunlewe answered his pjone.

Addressing the protesters, the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, said that the House would communicate their grievances to the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who would them relate them to the President for a solution.