Heavy protests rocks Asaba over recruitment into Delta civil service

There was protest on Monday in Asaba, Delta State by the over 3,000 suspended civil servants following the recall of 450 by the state government last weekend.

The affected civil servants who were employed at the twilight of the ex-governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration in 2014 were immediately suspended when Governor Ifeanyi Okowa took over in 2015 for alleged irregularities in the recruitment process.

However, the government set up a committee late last year to review the employment with a view to recalling the affected workers.

But the list of recall released at the weekend has been greeted with protests by the suspended workers who alleged that over 90 percent of them were excluded from the 450-man list.

In a peaceful protest, the placard carrying workers alleged that the review process was hijacked by political forces who imported names of their cronies into the recall list, leaving out the genuine workers that were initially suspended.

In a joint statement by the chairman of the group, Obus Regha; secretary, Emiajevoke Onokpasa; and public relations officer, Akpochimora Timothy, the affected workers insisted that the recall list has over 90 percent of persons who neither applied for the job nor were screened in 2014.

According to the statement which was made available to journalists, the list was allegedly doctored at the state Civil Service Commission after the nine-man review committee set up by Governor Okowa had done a thorough job to ensure that it was only qualified among the 2014 applicants were recommended for a recall.

They threatened to institute a legal action against the state government if the issue was not revisited to ensure justice for all.

“We have evidence of proof of those who did not primarily apply for the job were reinstated. We will not relent in our struggle until justice is done.

“We know that the governor is not aware of the malpractice that has taken place. 90% of the original list was altered, and unknown names of people who did not apply for the job were used to replace those who merited it.

“There are names that even appeared twice which has vindicated our position that the final process lacks transparency.

“We will do everything within legal means to reclaim our God given jobs back. We therefore call on all suspended civil servants whose names are not on the recall list to remain calm, steadfast and pray fervently,” they stated.

Receiving the protesters at the state Civil Service Commission headquarters in Asaba, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Frederick Yoro, assured that their grievances will be looked into by government.

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