Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
After years of serving the Cross River State government without any salary and their withdrawal from court sitting, magistrates in the State may soon be remembered by the state governor, Professor Ben Ayade. This is according to the coordinator of the affected Magistrates, Solomon Abuo.
He told TNN that the governor said this during their last protest in Calabar which led to the suspension of the two days protest. The magistrates had staged several peaceful protests to demand for their unpaid salaries for the last 26 months and the withdrawal of their sitting in court by the state government.
Among the groups asking the magistrates not to return to the streets is the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, in the state who has been making efforts to see that the situation was resolved amicably.
But the magistrates who could no longer remain silent went to the streets again last week after the meeting the deputy governor scheduled with the NBA to look into the matter could not hold.
Two days into the protest, the state governor pleaded with the magistrates through the NBA to suspend the demonstration as they will be paid their salaries by next month. The Coordinator of the Magistrates, Solomon Abuo who disclosed this to TNN added that the governor also told them to resume work next month.
“We suspended the protest on Tuesday. The NBA chairman met with the governor on Tuesday and the governor promised that they are going to pay us next month. We are to resume work. So the NBA chairman came and told us after meeting with the governor to suspend the protest and give the government the benefit of doubt. We are hoping they will keep to their words because on Monday I met with the deputy governor and He showed the report they submitted to the governor.
“So the NBA Chairman met with the governor on Tuesday and he told him they are to pay us next month. So after we deliberated on the matter, we had to suspend the protest. So we will wait, if they fail to pay us next month as they promised we will go back to the streets,” Abuo said.