-Mourn Wisdom Durueke

Members of Imo state Retired Permanent Secretaries Association have expressed shock over the death of Barr Wisdom Durueke, a Human Rights Activist and National President of Civil liberty Organization (CLO).

Late Durueke died as a result of burns sustained from electricity generating set fire outbreak which took place on the 7th of May, 2020 at his residence in Owerri. As gathered through a family source, Durueke was admitted to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri, where he died a week later of yet unknown complications arising from severe injuries.

Speaking to our reporter, in Owerri yesterday, the Imo State Chairman of Retired Permanent Secretaries, Chief F.I Agba described Barr Wisdom Durueke’s death as a colossal loss to Nigeria. He regretted that there are very few Lawyers like Durueke who would at all times, be willing to assist the downtrodden.

He recalled how Durueke at the instance of the then Imo State Chairman of NBA, Barr Nwankiti did their court case, challenging the criminal deduction of 60% pension by ex-governor Rochas Okorocha’s without collecting any fees from the pensioners(Pro-Bono). He wondered how many lawyers in Imo would have done that. He then prayed God to receive his soul and console those he left behind. “Indeed, the pensioners lost a brother. We will surely miss him”, Agba stated.

Speaking on the suspension of Barr (Mrs) Vivian Ottih, the Imo Broadcasting Company (IBC) Staff who was suspended by the management of the state-owned radio house for asking for her salary, Agba said that Ottih’s suspension is an affront to her fundamental human rights. He expressed disappointment that the commissioner of Information, Chief Declan Emelumba, a former lawmaker and renowned journalist could look the other way while a colleague goes through a tough time under his watch.

According to him, there is no rationale whatsoever to justify Ottih’s suspension. On the principle of a worker deserves his or her wages, he maintained that their colleagues and the government of the day goofed.

“When you don’t pay a worker, he or she has the right to talk to his creditors. When the worker’s landlord requests for his rent, he has no reason to tell him that he has not been paid. Therefore he must talk.

The people who said they are Joint Council Committee in IBC, I wonder what type of trade union they are. In the first place, they collected the woman’s check-off dues as their member. Their duty is to defend the woman not to castigate her. It is not honest enough for them to take her money and still castigate her. When you are in a union, the union is to defend its members and when there is a dispute, if the member involved does not bring it to the union, the union should not get involved. You have to defend a member with the member’s corporation.

They issued a statement, quoting rules that do not exist. How can a government or an employer tell the employee what to do if he or she fails to pay the employee? Do you think that type of thing is possible? Let them produce where the rules are written? Anyone that knows the rules should quote the section. Even if the non-payment of salary was broadcasted in BBC or anywhere, what they owe Mrs Vivian Ottih is an apology for breaching their contract with her”, Agba stated.