· As Commandant General debunks rumour of conspiracy
The top hierarchy of Imo Civil Guards have threatened to initiate court action against the Imo state government for refusing to pay staff of the outfit accumulated arrears of their salary which has led to the untimely death of some of them as a result of lack, hunger and deprivation.
They also accused the Commandant General of the establishment, Martin Eke of conspiring with the state government to undo them.
A big shot in the establishment who pleaded anonymity, said they have exercised enough patience and have severally complained to the Commandant General who they expected would feel their pulse and make presentation on their behalf, “but unfortunately, he has not made sufficient effort to address the issue and does not seem to care about our plight. That is why we have decided to take the bull by the horn.”
He further said, “the entire hierarchy of Imo Civil Guard are on the same page and are operating with unity of purpose; except Martin Eke who is said to be apologetic and unassertive presumably, to protect the government and himself at the expense of the collective interest of the staff who have been subjected to untold hardship.”
When asked how soon they intend to institute the suit, he said “we are giving the Hope Uzodinma government from now till the end of December to do the needful. Because there is no justifyable reason for withholding our salaries for two and half years. If at the end of the month, nothing positive happens, we will have no other option than to seek redress in court.”
When contacted the Acting Commandant General of the outfit, Martin Eke said the arrears of salary of the guards did not start with the Uzodinma administration as the former governor, Emeka Ihedioha owed them seven months arrears before he left.
He denied working against the interest of the personnel, pointing out that he had approached the governor who assured him that in no distant time they will get paid.
He disclosed that, “the Governor intends to re-organize Imo Civil Guards by floating a State Security outfit on December, 30 Imo Civil Guards will no doubt play a key role. I have told them to exercise patience bearing in mind that the governor will definitely pay them.
“If staff of Imo State Water Corporation who were owed several months arrears of salary were eventually paid, it is obvious that they will also be paid.
“They should be consoled by the fact that they are still relevant and functional when other security outfits like Imo Security Watch, Imo Security Network, etc are now moribund. Once the government is through with the verification exercises aimed at streamlining issues and putting them in proper perspective their problem will be holistically addressed.”