The 2019 gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia State, Dr Alex Otti, has described Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as a hypocrite who is totally bereft of any kind of milk of human kindness.
Otti spoke against the backdrop of the reported announcement by the Abia State government during this year’s Workers’ Day celebration, that government was willing to pay the new N30,000 minimum wage recently signed into law by the President, Muhammadu Buhari.
“How are they going to do it? How are they going to pay N30,000 when they have not been able to pay N18,000?” Otti queried. He added: “It is sheer hypocrisy for Abia State government, under Ikpeazu, to pay lip service to Abia workers that it was going to pay the new minimum wage, when it is currently owing workers between three months and 15 months salaries, in arrears.”
Dr Otti, in a statement by the director media and publicity of Alex Otti Campaign Organisation, Kazie Uko, said news coming out of the May Day rally has exposed the hypocrisy and falsehood that Okezie Ikpeazu and his government have continued to perpetuate that workers’ salaries have been paid in full and no arrears owed.
He praised the workers and pensioners for their resilience in spite of the hardships they have had to go through in their service to the state and urged them to remain steadfast and hopeful as Abia State was on the brink of a new dawn.
“It is heart-warming to note that the government finally acquiesced to the revelation by the Abia State NLC chairman, Comrade Uchenna Obigwe, that the state government is owing workers of the State University Teaching Hospital 12 months salaries; those of the Hospital Management Board, nine months; secondary school teachers, 10 months; Abia Polytechnic, 13 months; College of Education, Arochukwu 15 months; Universal Basic Education Board, six months; local governments, two and half months; College of Health and Management Sciences, 13 months; and pensioners 19-25 months.
“These were some of the hidden facts we brought to the attention of Ndi Abia during the campaigns for the 2019 governorship election and which the government paid huge sums of money to deny or rationalize, using its propaganda machinery. We had raised alarm on why the state government, despite its internally-generated revenue and all the allocations coming from the federation account, including excess crude money, Paris Club debt refund and the bail-out funds, vehemently refused to pay civil servants and pensioners.
“The world saw the heart-breaking images of our elderly citizens who had served the state meritoriously, but are currently denied their pensions and treated with disdain, as they filed out at the May Day rally to protest what they termed as mercy killing, gross tyranny and taboo against their members by the state government”, the statement quoted Otti as saying.
The APGA governorship candidate who has filed a petition at the Abia State Election Petition Tribunal is asking for the nullification and re-run of the 2019 governorship election as the result does not represent the wishes of the majority of Abia electorate. He said it would be unfair for anybody to say that these same workers and pensioners voted for Ikpeazu and the PDP.
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