There was a major protest in Ibadan yesterday by civil servants who are opposed to the planned retrenchment of workers in the civil service. They claim over 1,000 sack letters have been typed and are ready to be distributed to affected workers in various cadres of service.
The protesters are members of the Oyo State chapter of the Association of Civil Servants in Nigeria (ACSN) and are fighting against the proposed sack of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) staff.
Channels TV reported the protesters refused to report for duty in their various posts because of the fear of the mass sack making the rounds. They gathered at the front of the commission’s office at New Garage area in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, chanting solidarity songs to register their displeasure.
The ACSN Chairman, Oyo State chapter, Comrade Ibrahim Salman, said about 1000 sack letters had already been prepared for various categories of the commission’s employees. He also disclosed that the old members of staff of the commission, who were inherited from the Department of National Civic Registration (DNCR), but later merged with the new staff of the commission were mostly affected by the proposed mass retrenchment.
Mr Salman further stressed that over 4,000 staff of the commission had earlier been laid off across the country, noting that only the old staff of the commission inherited from DNCR were targeted.
In the same vein, the ACSN Publicity Secretary, Mr Adeyemi Olaide, said most of the core civil servants inherited by the commission have been subjected to victimisation and hardship, denying them of their promotion in the process.
He said the Union would do everything possible to frustrate the sack of the civil servants, stressing that the country cannot afford another mass sack considering the poor state of the nation’s economy.
Meanwhile, Officials of the NIMC have described the protest as malicious and an attempt to discredit the management of the commission. The Director-General of the commission, Mr Chris Onyemenam, said the protesting workers were those who have disciplinary cases to face over falsified records.
Mr Onyemenam, however, refuted plans by the commission to declare redundancy or undertake any form of retrenchment of its staff.