Public primary school teachers in Abia State have tackled Governor Alex Otti-led’s government for allegedly subjecting them to penury over three months of unpaid salary.
The workers who spoke with Sahara Reporters on condition of anonymity said the continued non-payment of their salaries by the government had brought misery upon them.
They added that they have resorted to begging to feed their families due to hardship.
The teachers added that they had fulfilled all conditions required of them, particularly staff verification yet being denied salaries.
“We Abia state primary school teachers and staff have continued to be excluded from payment despite being verified. Something that took Charles Soludo in Anambra a month to sort, his Abia counterpart, Alex Otti has spent almost 6 months but yet salaries continue to be denied, short paid and the next thing they tell us is to print our bank statements and bring to the Umahia,” one of the teachers said.
“We teachers are heart broken in Abia state. Other states are enjoying their new governors but we teachers are suffering here.”
Another teacher said most of them had become beggars and currently dying of hunger.
He said, “In Aba North and Aba South, most primary school teachers most of us are being owned three months salaries, workers in other sectors had been paid November salaries, yet we were not paid again.
“Next thing they will say is we should print our bank statements and nothing will come out of it. Brother, I am a victim. How will I spend December without salary? Many in Abia state are crying, dying. After being verified with sufferings, there is yet no salary for three months. That is July, April and now November.
“Nigerians should help us; Alex Otti is suffering us in Abia. To me, the government is a fraud. If nothing is done, Christmas will be bleak for us all.”
Meanwhile, earlier Otti has said that some workers, who would be released by the ongoing verification of the civil servants, would be redeployed to teach in the state-owned schools.
Otti disclosed this on Friday night during his monthly media chat at the Government House, Umuahia.
He said that the affected persons would be redeployed to schools after they had gone through a crash teaching programme.
He expressed shock over the large number of civil servants in the state employ, saying that some of them could be released for other things, where they would be relevant.
According to him, somehow we have been under-reporting the number of workers the state has.
He said: “We do not think it is a wise thing looking for teachers, when we have an overbloated civil service – the number is humongous.
“We can’t sack them. They are civil servants and we don’t even want to sack.
“We want people to get jobs and those that have capacity to teach we can send them to schools because we need teachers.”
Otti also expressed worry over the large number of civil servants attached to the Government House, saying, “and I can’t find what they are actually doing.”