By Lawrence Olaoye
Heavily armed policemen and other security agencies yesterday took over the premises of the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) headquarters in Abuja, following plans by the aggrieved members of staff of the Commission to embark on nationwide strike.
The workers in a three-page petition with Ref. No: ASCSN/ABJ/PCC/VOL.I/197, dated 9th, July 2014 and addressed to Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) specifically kicked against what they described as illegal appointment of the Commission’s Secretary, Mr Peter Nwakpa Nwafia, who has been compulsorily retired by the Ebonyi State Service Commission and was smuggled into the Federal Civil Service.
The aggrieved staff in a protest letter signed by Isaac Ojemhenke, Secretary General of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), however issued a 21-day ultimatum for the termination of Nwkpa’s purported appointment as the Secretary of the Commission.
They alleged that “Mr. Peter Nwafia Nwakpa, who has continued to collect salaries though IPPIS as Director in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity in addition to what he is getting as Secretary to the Public Complaint Commission, has sworn before the staff of Public Complaints Commission that, as a former Director in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, nothing will come out of the said conciliatory meetings initiated by labour.”
They have been instructed to deal with the Labour leaders and staff for agitating for their fundamental human rights. “There is a total break down in administration and civilization as the above public office holders are now using their powers to oppress and intimidating people.
They had promised to sack the staff of Public Complaints Commission for protesting against social injustice perpetrated against them,” they alarted.
Some of the staff, who spoke with our Correspondent, expressed dismay over the threat posed by the presence of armed policemen and other security agencies deployed to the PCC headquarters.
“Most of the staff are hanging around because they are not comfortable with the presence of the heavily armed policemen and other security personnel brought into the headquarters of the Commission.
“To safeguard our lives, a high-level meeting among the labour leaders is ongoing after which we will mobilized to the Federal Ministry of Labour for further deliberation,” he stated.
The workers also protested against irregular payment of salaries; no utility vehicle for core departments especially investigation; poor welfare of staff, among others.
Since the coming of these people on board, they have not been paid last month salaries, they claimed.