A group of dismissed public servants on Tuesday in Abuja thronged the entrance of the National Assembly to seek the intervention of the lawmakers and reversal of the termination of their appointments.
The workers, drawn from the Federal Ministries of Environment, Power, Works and Housing and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, claimed they were illegally dismissed.
The spokesman for the protesters, Emmanuel Anyila, said they were employed in 2014 by the Federal Civil Service Commission.
Anyila said that the commission posted the appointees to different Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.
According to him, about 315 of the employees were posted to the OAGF where upon submission of their letters of employment, were told to hold on until after the 2015 general elections before commencement of documentation.
He also said that after the verification of their employment, the OAGF asked them to wait until the budget was passed.
Anyila said that after the budget was passed, they were documented and resumed work, but were not being paid salaries.
He added: “While we were waiting for induction and expecting our salaries in 2016, a letter came from the Chairman of Civil Service saying that our names should be deleted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
“They claimed that our employment was irregular.
“Out of the 315, 71 were selected and their appointment was said to be regular, while the remaining 247 of us were said to be irregular.
“Meanwhile, we were employed at the same time, did documentation at the same time and went through the process together.
“We are depending on God to get justice.
“We are believing that God will help the National Assembly members to get to the root of this matter and save our jobs, save our souls and pay our salaries.”
Ikechukwu Chiemerem, from the Ministry of the Environment, said they were protesting to save their jobs.
Chiemerem said there were over 152 appointees in the Ministry of the Environment and more than 4,000 in other MDAs.
He said: “They should not take our jobs away from us.
“They have started by stopping our salaries all in the bid to scheme us out.
“Our prayer to the Senate is that they should intervene in this matter and help us because we have followed due process to reach the relevant authorities and they have paid deaf ears to our concern.
“Let the National Assembly help us reach the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment to resolve this issue.”
Receiving a petition from the protesters on behalf of the Senate, Senator Barnabas Gemade (Benue-APC) said the petition would be appropriately laid before the Senate.
Gemade also said that all the relevant committees would take critical look at it and make recommendations on which the Senate would reach a decision as quickly as possible.
He said: “I am happy that you have not taken to the streets for any upheaval; you have conducted yourselves in an orderly manner.
“We assure you that every step necessary will be taken to address this subject.
“I hope that the petition you have submitted today is accurate; I hope that when the committee begins to look at it, it will not find any flaws.
“On behalf of the leadership of the Senate, we urge you to return home peacefully and we assure you that we will carry out our work on this matter and your petition will be addressed appropriately.”
The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Senator Clifford Odia (Edo-APC), said it was an “unfortunate situation” that was allowed to happen.
Odia urged the protesters to continue to maintain peace and order in the interest of the country.
Odia promised to inform the Senate leadership of the development and gave the protesters assurance of speedy resolution of the problem by the Senate.
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