From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

Abia state Hospital Management Board (HMB) workers have again protested over 12 months of unpaid salaries, saying government has turned the Board into a place of frustration, pain and death.

This is even as the Member representing Aba South Constituency,
Abia State House of Assembly, Hon Obinna Ichita has cautioned over the plight of the workers.

The workers staged a protest in front of the gate which was under lock and key.

They carried placards some of which read, “save our souls in HMB, Our children are dying of hunger, Pay HMB workers their 12 months salary arrears, Our landlords are on our necks for house rent”.

Speaking during the protest, the state chairman of Allied Action Committee, comrade Echeta Chikezie said they were protesting their 12 months of unpaid salaries.

He noted that last year 2021, government paid the basic salaries of 2019, which he said they accepted because of the suffering they were going through.

He said there was an agreement with government that from 2022 they will be paid along side with core ministries and as at when due. “Government gave us false hope, they reneged from their agreement and till date we have not receive any salary”.

“We have decided to be working outside the gate instead of working inside and dying inside”.

The state chairman, Medical Health Workers Union of Nigeria, HMB branch, comrade Chidimma Mary Nwokoma said they are going through hell, “we are treated with so much wickedness and pain”.

She regretted that since the inception of the present administration, they have suffered much, adding that they must protest before they get one month salary.

Meanwhile, Hon Ichita has cautioned against the non payment of the workers salary.

In a statement, he said, “The report of non payment of salaries of health workers in Abia in the past 12 months and the report of the protest by staff of Abia HMB is too heavy to be ignored.

“It is worrisome that such essential service providers are treated in such a despicable manner, that they had to publicly protest in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.

“While Abians continue to suffer the failure of Abia state government to provide basic infrastructure for the people, we can not ignore and/ or tolerate the deliberate attempt by same government to indirectly sentence the citizens to death through non payment of the salaries.

Stressing the need that every worker deserve his pay, Ichita called on Gov Okezie Ikpeazu to relieve the Commissioners for health and finance as well as the accountant general of Abia State of their positions since they have failed the people.

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Source: news