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310 LG Workers In Benue Protest Sack, Seek Reinstatement

About 310 workers allegedly sacked from service in Tarka Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue State have called on the state government to reinstate them or in the alternative serve them letters terminating their appointments.

The workers, who were employed in 2011 under the administration of Gabriel Suswam, were laid off by the Governor Samuel Ortom administration shortly on assumption of office in 2015.
However, they were yet to be issued letters terminating their appointments, just as they have not been paid their emoluments since 2015.

This scenario cut across almost all of the 23 LGAs of the state, in which the appointment of workers in their thousands were terminated in 2015 without being issued termination letters.
Efforts to get the Special Adviser, Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs (BLGCA), Jerome Torshimbe, to react on the issue failed.

However, those that were laid off in Tarka LGA of the state numbering about 310 have appealed to the state government to either reinstate them or serve them letters of termination.
The workers had earlier marched to the council secretariat at Wannune, headquarters of Tarka LGA last weekend, where they made known their demands and requested that they be reabsorbed into the system.

Spokesman of the workers, Ato Philip, who spoke to Daily Independent at Wannune last weekend said, “We are demanding two things. Government has said we have not been sacked and since we have not been sacked, let our salaries be paid to us.

“But if we have been sacked let them (government) give us our termination letters to enable us look for other jobs because as it is now, when you apply for a job, the details on our BVN numbers indicate we are civil servants and as such you need not be employed elsewhere.”
Speaking to Daily Independent shortly after the protest, Chairman, Tarka LGA, Susanna Suswam, who confirmed the statement of the workers, said she would convey their demands to the authorities concerned.

She further confirmed that, “They were employed in 2011 and their appointments were terminated (in 2015) and letters were not given to them and their names are not on the pay roll of the LG.
“Since their names have not been removed from where they have been captured; anywhere they go it will still reflect that they are still workers.

“So they have appealed to me to take their message to the appropriate quarters that they should be reinstated.”
According to her, “I have no power to employ, neither powers to terminate; so I’ll take their message to the appropriate authorities because I am also under authority that will handle the matter.”

Efforts to reach the Special Adviser BLGCA, Jerome Torshimbe, who had earlier promised to comment on the issue failed, as he did not pick calls.

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