The governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Rivers State, Beatrice Itubo has slammed the Rivers State government over its inability to pay gratuities of workers despite all the money being flaunted. According to her, with all the money that the state flaunts around, they cannot pay gratuity to pensioners, as some workers have retired without being paid four years of promotion.
It’s gathered that Itubi told Punch that some workers in the state have just retired without being promoted, while others were promoted at retirement.
She claimed that about a year ago when the calculation of what the government owed pensioners came up, it was discovered the Rivers government owed about N160 billion, which she said should have accumulated to about N200 billion since then. Itubo asserted that “Workers are owed almost N200bn? The last time we did the calculation almost a year ago, it amounted to over N160bn, and every month, people retire.
From that time till now, is it not up to N200bn? When you want to pay money, you release between N200m and N500m and you said I was shouting and when they heard I was now going for the governorship position, they felt that workers would stand by me and the next thing is that workers should come for biometrics because they want to start paying them. “As we speak, which worker has been paid? Nothing has happened, but workers are really aware of what is happening.
How many months are remaining? Their days are numbered. Let them leave so that I can come in and pay workers and treat them the way they should be treated because they are humans. “All the money they would have benefitted when they were in service, nothing has happened. And then you look at the issue of pensioners.
With all the money that Rivers State flaunts around, they cannot pay gratuity to pensioners. And being the chairman of the workers, I am pained, but there is nothing I have not done. “I have gone in a soft way; I have written, threatened, I have gone on strike, I have protested.
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There is no singular method I have not used and yet, it fell on deaf ears because we have a government that is anti-workers. So, based on that, the workers looked at themselves and said this time around, let one of us go and give this thing a shot and let’s see if it will come out well. “Nobody needs to tell the person, go and pay workers as and when due and that was what pushed me.
I didn’t just wake up to run; people gave me the moral, support and the needed mandate and strength to enable me to run.” It’s gathered that the Rivers Labour Party governorship candidate, while speaking about the popularity of her contenders in other parties, noted that politics is not about big names but about popularity.
She submitted that “It is not the name that is the matter. Politics is all about popularity. So, if you look at the entire names that are coming out for this election, at least I am the only name that is known throughout Rivers State, I am the only name that there is no nook or cranny of this state that somebody has not seen my face.
“As soon as my name is mentioned, they will say, ‘is it not that labour woman, that woman has tried, that woman has been fighting for workers. So, if you want to talk about big names, I am the biggest name in this race.”