Staff of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Commission, (ISOPADEC) have reacted to several newspaper publications including some National dailies describing some of their workers who were arrested by the police on Monday August 17, 2020 as hoodlums.

 They said that they are not hoodlums as even branded by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Declan Emeluba who they said should know better but victims of Senator Uzodinma dreadful shared prosperity government which according to the workers has made ISOPADEC more impoverished than ever. They explained that even during the locust eating years of Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the situation at ISOPADEC was not this ugly.

Speaking to our reporter in Owerri yesterday, the ISOPADEC Workers Union Chairman, Comrade Chinedu Awuzie stated that contrary to the lies maliciously and deliberately peddled by a section of the media, those who were arrested by the police are bonafide staff of the ISOPADEC, who are not thugs or hoodlums but were in Owerri protesting against the delay in the payment of their monthly salary.

Awuzie confirmed that over 15 of their members were arrested while they were along Bank Road Owerri, marching peacefully to government house premises to register their displeasure and to plead with the Uzodinma government to pay them their salary, owed in arrears of several months since Uzodinma assumed office.

Another staff of the ISOPADEC who didn’t want his name in prints described the report as a case of calling a dog a bad name to hang it. He wondered how the protesters would have attacked the governor’s convoy at Concord Hotel Owerri axis while marching along Bank Road, Owerri. It was as a result of this white lie against them that he accused agent of government of organizing those that attacked the governor’s convoy to get at the ISOPADEC workers whose only sin is to ask for their salary, the same way Mrs Vivian Ottih of IBC, Owerri was suspended from work for simply drawing attention to delay in payment of her salary.

It would be recalled that some of staff of the commission had on Monday August 17 protested in Owerri over their unpaid salary. As reported, Governor Hope Uzodinma’s convoy which was en route to Obinze Barracks in Owerri West LGA to commission “Officer Mess”, was allegedly attacked by the staff at different locations from where the workers were protesting. It was not confirmed if the attackers were drawn from among ISOPADEC staff only but incidentally the government through Commissioner for Information, Emlumba accused those that protested as thugs, not Imo workers.