From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The joint union of the Nigerian Institute For Trypanosomiasis Research (NITR), Kaduna on Wednesday barricaded all the gates of the institute to commence a 7-day warning strike for the removal of the reinstated embattled Director General of the Institute, Dr. Felicia Chizoba Enwezor, whom they alleged was pulling down the institute from fulfilling its mandate.
The gates were placed under lock and keys by the workers, signalling the commencement of the 7-day warning strike.
As early as 8:30am, workers of the institute in large numbers, converged on the main entrance, awaiting return of their joint chairman, Comrade Mohijo Hussaini, who it was learnt, dashed off to security formations to formally present their petitions.
The workers stood peacefully in front of the premises, carrying placards with several inscriptions.
According to the NITR Joint Chairman, Comrade Mohijo Hussaini said, “We have written to the Police, DSS and NSCDC. As we speak today, this woman has been imposed on us as DG.
“She was defiant on the President Muhammadu Buhari’s order. We are here on a peaceful mission to embark on a 7-day warning strike. If action is not taken by supervising ministry, we will embark on full scale strike”.
According to him, DG of the institute, bent on retaining her position, has written to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), to seek police protection.
“She has also written a letter seeking to operate as DG from any of NITR’s offices located in Suleja or Abuja, which we got wind of.
“Dr. Felicia Chizoba Enwezor is not needed in NITR, we are here to protest and embark on 7-day warning strike,” he said.
According to the joint chairman, part of the grouse the workers have with her is that she is not committed to ensuring the institute serves its mandate as a research outfit.
“She recalled over 100 staff on training without due process, violations of procurement processes.
“Her actions are prejudicial to the threat of the Security of State as the Institute was shut down for three (3) days in April, 2022 by Staff against her bad leadership.
“Refusal to take lawful orders and directives from the constituted Authorities.
“Leaving her official duty on several occasions without delegating overseeing capacity to the next director of Research in the Institute contrary to Public Service Rules (PSR) 030402.
“Failure to respect and implement Court Order Suit No: NICN/ABJ/297/2021.
“Refusal to convene Board Meetings despite Council’s instructions,” he listed the allegations.
According to him, ” we started with three days protest, the next line is 7-day working strike, if no action is taken, we will shut down NITR until our demands are met.
“She is a threat to the security of this state. As law abiding citizens we are however doing this peacefully,” he added.
Other workers of the institute who spoke with our correspondent but didn’t want their names in print, appealed to President Buhari to intervene and set NITR on a path of progress.
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