Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia
The Abia State Governor-elect Dr Alex Otti, has facilitated with members of the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress on the occasion of the 2023 workers day celebration.
Otti, in a statement he personal signed, assured the workers that their sad experience of being owed salary arrears will be a thing of the past under his watch as governor come May 29, 2023.
He commended the workers in the State and Local Government civil services, for ensuring that the wheels of the public service continued to spin despite being owed many months of salary arrears.
The Governor-Elect, who addressed the civil and public servant in the state as “Fellow Abia Workers”, pointed out that he did so because Abia electorates had hired him to part of her workers through their votes on March 18 2023.
The statement read, “I bring you special greetings on this auspicious occasion of the 2023 Workers’ Day Celebration, otherwise known as May Day, with the theme: ‘Workers’ Right and Socio-Economic Justice’.
“I consciously chose to address you as “fellow workers” because on Saturday, March 18, 2023, you joined thousands of passionate, enthusiastic and patriotic Abia voters to hire me as your employee. That noble and humbling decision has placed additional burden of service on my shoulders.
“On behalf of the good people of Abia State, I wish to sincerely congratulate the organised labour led by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other such bodies on this year’s celebration.
“I particularly salute our workers in the State and Local Government civil services, who, despite being owed many months of salary arrears, have ensured that the wheels of public service continue to spin.
“I’m aware as usual, that most of you will be celebrating this year’s May Day on empty stomachs as a result of non-payment of salaries. Be assured that such sad experience will become a thing of the past going forward. I commend your resilience, long suffering and uncommon dedication to duty in the service of our dear State.
“A year ago, I did the usual ritual of felicitation to you all, and I did reassure you that sooner than later, the ruinous era of gloom and sobriety would give way for a new dawn of blessings and abundance. Today, by the mercy of the Almighty God, our prayer, battle cry and admonition, ‘Weep No More, Help is on the Way’, has been answered and we can assuredly declare, help is here!
“I have always held the view that a worker that is neglected or poorly treated is a threat to economic prosperity of a state, and argued that one of the ways to stimulate a depressed economy is to pay salaries and allowances as well as pay contractors to inject funds into the economy, which will in turn lead to increased demand for goods and services, higher productivity and job creation. I’m convinced that God saw through our hearts, hence, He crowned our efforts with that nationally celebrated historic victory that has given us the platform to serve you.
“We are not unmindful of the enormity of the rot ravaging every sector of our economy, vis-a-vis the humongous liabilities being left behind by the outgoing PDP government, however, we are undaunted because we came prepared and will therefore hit the ground running, despite the challenges.
“As you celebrate this Special Edition of May Day, may the joy and heroism associated with being a worker gladden your hearts and inspire you all to continue to make sacrifices for a better Abia state. We will move speedily, vigorously and decisively in the task of rebuilding our state and in our efforts to create wealth, jobs, prosperity and opportunities for our people, at all levels”.