Chris Steven, Abuja
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has lashed out to the Governor of Rivers state, Barrister Nyesom Wike over the mass sack of 344 lecturers and others employed at the Rivers State Polytechnic, Bori since September 2014 by the immediate past administration of governor Rotimi Amaechi and the disbandment of the Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMA-RIV) describing it as a vendetta.
If the reported cases of mass sack of 344 lecturers and others employed at the Rivers State Polytechnic, Bori since September 2014 by the state’s immediate past administration led by Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi and the disbandment of the Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMA-RIV) are anything to go by, then the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) might be tempted to believe that the new governor of the state, Barrister Nyesom Wike, is out to play politics of vendetta.
The Congress posits that such action would not be in tandem with what the nation in general and Rivers State in particular needs at the moment.
In a statement signed by its President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and Secretary General, Comrade Musa Lawal, the Congress expressed shock and disappointment at news of the sack,noting that it would have grave consequences for the affected workers, their dependants and the rest of society.
The Congress noted that the governor’s actions are most likely fall-outs of the political acrimony that traversed the period before and during the recent elections in the state, and opined that all such considerations ought to have gone with that period.
“Right now good governance should be the governor’s priority,” the statement added.
According to the Congress, “Nigerians have become increasingly interested in public affairs and impatient for good governance because of years of unfulfilled promises by their leaders. They are much wiser now and can no longer be fooled and impoverished by a minute percentage of the populace.”
The labour leaders noted that many of the people whose appointments the governor terminated probably voted for him. They queried: “How will they explain to their friends, family members and associates that the man they so much believed in and voted for has relieved them of their jobs in spite of the fact that job creation and provision of infrastructure were among his campaign promises?”
The Congress called on government at all levels to eschew politics of bitterness. It observed that government is a continuum, and any useful project embarked on by a preceding administration should not be done away with so as not to waste taxpayers’ money that has been expended on it. It however stated that such projects could be redefined and improved on, noting that converse attitude by many a new leader accounts for the thousands of abandoned projects littering the country.
On Rivers State Road Traffic Management Authority (TIMA-RIV) whose officers the Wike-led government accused of constituting nuisance, extorting money from people, causing accidents and loss of lives of innocent persons, the Congress advised that only persons found to have indulged in such acts should be dismissed.
The Congress charged the governor to be mindful not to take rash decisions lest his intentions be misconstrued even where ought to be commended.
“Disengaging 344 lecturers and other personnel in one fell swoop without sparing a thought about what would become of them and their dependants is very improper. It is our view that the governor should do a rethink and reverse that move,” the statement concluded.