As a functional medium of mass communication, we often choose to play the role of the ombudsmen and at times play the double mirror of the society. We are thus reflecting the society as we see it for all to see. We reflect and report the society as we see it and x-ray or portray government, its actions or strategies with unbiased mind and we hope that neither the government nor the electorate will crucify or attack the media in pursuit of the Holy books wherein we have been enjoined to seek, propagate and portray the truth for only the truth shall make us free.
In recent weeks and months, we have had reasons or causes to join other affected, aggrieved, hungry and traumatized Imo workers to harp and knock on the doors of the present administrator to give ears to the plights of Imo civil and public servants, as well as their forbearers, the pensioners, all of who have been held under bondage for the eight years of the Rochas Okorochas rescue mission administration, compelled to take home only a paltry percentage of their monthly emolument at the end of each quarters. It was a painful era for these workers especially those of tertiary educational institutions, the parastatals and local government system.
The situation lingered through part of Ihedioha’s seven months administration, as he was battling to know from where to start before he was abruptly ousted. Thus the prosperity government of Hope Uzodinma subsequently inherited the huge backlog of unpaid contractors fees, state and local government workers salary arears, parastatals wages as well as bulk unestimated pensions and gratuities that have been creating furrows and ill-feelings among the Imo constituents.
This morning, we want to put our pens on paper and raise our hats up for the Imo government for giving listening ears to our continued cry that workers of our premier institution, who were owed for nearly six (6) months, be paid their wages. We say thank you to the government. We appreciate that the huge arrears of salaries owed to Imo Water Corporation, IBC, Imo Newspapers, Imo Poly Umuagwo and Imo Sports Council but our appeal to government is to look into the plight of these workers with passion, reality and human face and not necessarily playing politics or parochialism especially in the presence of the ever sky-rocking Covid-19 pandemic.
We appreciate that the government has so far paid a total of four (4) months arrears out of the contentious six months owed to Imo State University workers and we hope confidently that efforts are on top gear to pay those of Imo Polytechnic Umuagwo and other parastatals. We expect that this shared prosperity goodwill and functional rights be extended to thousands of low class workers of the 27 local government system, most of who are dying and languishing in anguish for non-payment of monthly salary for some months.
In the case of Imo pensioners, we solicit and appeal to the authorities that instead of chastisement, media wrangling and brutalizing these senior citizens, mothers, unclea and aunties the authorities should hearken to the voice of reason and take a second look and bring their matter to the statutory office of the Accountant General for review and gradual payment of every one with authentic identity without any further hazards of verification or accusation in accordance with civil service rules, regulations and guidelines without any political bias or undertones. We salute our Hope, as he keeps the hope of Imo workers and pensioners hopeful and alive.
While we commend the state government for giving listening ears to the demands of the workers, we wish to state that payment of workers salary or pensioners/ statutory emoluments are not an achievement and does not call for celebration but appreciation in the present circumstance.