As workers in the oil rich Rivers State join their counterparts all over the world to mark the 2023 workers day celebration with a match pass among other programmes at the Yakubu Gowon’s Stadium in Port Harcourt, an Ogoni youth leader has berated them.
The National President, South-South Youth Initiative SSYI, Imeabe Saviour Oscar, believes that the Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike’s led government has not been fair to civil servants in the state.
According to him, workers in the state should mourn, putting on black clothes as a way of registering their displeasure rather than celebrate.
In a telephone interview with TNN, he said, “as we speak, I think there is nothing to celebrate in terms of workers celebration. It’s unfortunate that workers are still calling their day a celebration; it should be a day of mourning, because in Nigeria and in Rivers State especially, there has not been anything to celebrate especially under the current administration of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
“It’s under Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike that we see workers have never been regarded, pensioners weren’t paid for the complete eight years until now that he is trying to carry out a kangaroo means of payment.
“Youths of the state weren’t given opportunity to be employed until now that he is also trying to carry out a kangaroo job opportunity. Gratuities weren’t paid until now that he is trying to carry out a kangaroo opportunity. Pensioners weren’t paid until now, so what are workers celebrating?”
The Ogoni youth leader continued that, “Workers should be able to be mourning just like the last celebration that was done or the last workers day that happened last year, it was done in mourning, they were all wearing black, workers should be wearing black on workers day so that the government of Nigeria, the government of Rivers State and government of the 36 states of the country will understand that workers have nothing to celebrate.”
Oscar asked, “how can you celebrate when minimum wage have not been implemented, meanwhile commodities in the market are higher than your salary, so, how do you celebrate, what are you celebrating when as we speak, NLC in Rivers State and Nigeria at large cannot for once tell government that we need a condition; youths should be employed, every year there should be a quota employment, every year or every two, two years or four, four years, every three, three years there should be employment in the 36 states of the country, that should be the demand of the NLC, that should be their demands, and not saying they are celebrating, wearing uniform going to eagle square, going to Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, what are they celebrating?
“Governor Nyesom Wike has not been fair, not just to civil servants, as we speak how many graduates will want to graduate and then go and look for job as a civil servant? All the graduates we are having today that are graduating where are they going to, it’s politics because that is where seems to be lucrative, the civil service job is no longer lucrative because nothing is coming out from the civil service job, the government is killing it.”