Angry Officials Shut Down State Secretariat Over Unpaid Salary, Obtain Another Promise From Governor Ayade

By Patrick Obia

Listen to the report

The Cross River State Civil Service headquarters in Calabar is currently under lockdown as 1,800 civil servants employed four years ago protest over unpaid wages.

The demonstrators in large numbers barricaded the entrances to the secretariat and chanted solidarity songs with leaves saying that they are dying in large numbers due to hunger and starvation.

Mr David Iyaya, the coordinator of the protest, said the state government had refused to honor the agreement reached, leaving them no choice but to protest.

For his part, the head of the State service, Mr. Timothy Akwaji told the demonstrators not to do themselves justice by closing the gates.

The head of service said that their use was illegal because it was not signed by Governor Ben Ayade.

State Housing Police Station DPD E. Jack warned protesters to open the door or face ‘minimum use of force’ on them saying they are a “group of people” who want to cause unrest in the state, a claim the officials called repugnant.

However, after a few minutes of back and forth between the department head, the police and the protesters, the department head whispered that he had received a call from the state governor pleading that they should open the doors and bring their employment letters on Friday.