Sacking Workers Is Anti-people, Reverse It, Anglican Church Tells Gov Otti
Appeals to Abia Gov to Rescind Decision as Hardships Worsen
The Abia State governor, Mr. Alex Otti has been asked to rescind his decision to sack thousands of civil servants deemed to have been employed for political expediency by the last administration without recourse to due process.
The appeal was made by the Aba Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) at the 3rd Session of its 17th Synod in Aba, saying that making workers lose their jobs would heap more hardships on people and exacerbated crime wave.
The Abia government said that it “cleaned out” from its payroll over 5,000 workers employed at the twilight of the last administration and those considered to be receiving salary without doing any work, known as “ghost workers”.
This contentious action of government was among the issues the Church discussed at the Synod, noting that sacking of the civil servants “worsens the hardship in the society and fuels all vices associated with unemployment”.
In the communique signed by the Bishop of Aba Diocese, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Christian Ugwuzo and the clerical synod secretary, Venerable Innocent Ogbonna, the Church kicked against the layoff of the affected government employees.
It made it clear that it was not in support of the last minute mass employment hurriedly carried out by the outgone administration of Okezie Ikpeazu.
However, the Church noted that sacking workers would not do any good to the people hence it counseled Otti to retrace his steps and allow the affected workers to keep their jobs.
The Church reminded Otti of his campaign promises of improving the welfare of the people, adding that kicking workers out would negate his vision for a better Abia.
The Synod was constituted by 12 Bishops, 147 clergymen and 203 members of the house of laity who also participated in the activities marking the golden jubilee anniversary of the Diocese.
“The Synod urges the present government in Abia State to explore opportunities for development in such areas as building modular refineries in oil producing areas of the state, establishing air and sea ports,” the communique read.
It also advised Otti to engage in “promoting tourism and local industrialization in order to boost the economy, create employment opportunities and generally improve the lives of Abians and other residents.”
The Church Synod lashed out at the Federal Government over the abrupt removal of petroleum subsidy with its attendant hardships, inflation and deepening of poverty.
It said that it was bad enough that the subsidy removal was effected “without adequate preparation to cushion its devastating effects on the economy and the lives of the citizens”.
The Synod further frowned at the economic policies of FG and “unequivocally condemns the government’s ever-increasing trajectory of borrowing and the high debt profile”.
According to the Church, the ever increasing debt burden “portends a great economic danger for the present and upcoming generations in Nigeria”.
On the crisis in the tertiary education, the Synod bemoaned “the incessant industrial actions in our tertiary Institutions, hike in tuition, procurement of other academic materials including accommodation”.
It, therefore, called for “an urgent intervention of the Federal government in the educational sector” to end the prevailing situation of going to school in tears.
The Church also dectied the poor condition of most roads in Aba, noting that it has “adversely affected businesses, increased hardship, health hazards as well as insecurity in the city”.
It called on both the federal and state governments to declare a state of emergency on roads in Aba “given the status of Aba as an outstanding commercial nerve center in the South East”.