….As Governor Otti begins payment of eight years’ salary arrears of Judiciary workers
Following misleading report on social media, alleging that the Abia State Government owes soldiers attached to the multi-agency security task force, codenamed ‘Operation Crush’, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Alex Otti, Kazie Uko has set the records straight.
A press statement by Uko advised the general public to disregard this falsehood as the state government is up-to-date in meeting its obligations to the anti-crime task force, which has been instrumental in dealing with incidents of violent crimes and dislodging the kidnapping ring around the Umunneochi-Uturu-Okigwe axis, especially on the Enugu-Umuahia-Aba-Port Harcourt Expressway.
“It is worthy of note that the Government of Abia State, under the able and dynamic leadership of the Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, has continued to pay workers salaries, pensions, and all outstanding verified benefits accruing to Abia workers and retirees, since the assumption of office by Dr. Otti.
“Only two days ago, the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), the umbrella association of judicial workers in Abia State, wrote to thank Governor Otti for living up to his promise to pay the arrears of their Consolidated Judiciary Staff Salary Structure (CONJUSS), which had remained outstanding since 2015.
“The workers, through their union leader and Chairman, Oracle Chinedu Eze, expressed their gratitude to Governor Otti and the government of Abia State for fulfilling the promise of salary payments”, the statement said.
The statement quoted the letter of gratitude sent by the union leader which said, “It is with a grateful heart full of joy and happiness that I, on behalf of the entire Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria members and executives, wish to inform and appreciate you for the first batch of the CONJUSS arrears paid yesterday (November 15, 2023).
“Sir, we are most grateful. May Almighty God bless you mightily. Amen and remain lifted,” Mr. Eze wrote in a message to the Abia State Governor, through the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ikechukwu Uwanna.
Kazie Uko said that Abians are not lost in the fact that the falsehood being peddled on social media is the handwork of the enemies of the State, who have lost their hold on political power in the state and have now chosen to see nothing good in Governor Otti, their Achilles heel.”
Meanwhile as captured above, Governor Alex Otti has commenced payment of eight years salary arrears of Judiciary workers in the state.
Workers in the judicial service of Abia State have expressed gratitude to the Governor of Abia, Dr. Alex Otti, for living up to his promise of paying off their salary arrears.
The workers, who had been owed since January 2015, had embarked on an indefinite strike against the immediate past government in the state, to press home their demands, shortly before Governor Otti assumed office on May 29, 2023.
They had demanded the confirmation of Justice Lilian Abai as the substantive Chief Judge of the state after she had been in an acting capacity for over six months. Also, they demanded the payment of the arrears of the Consolidated Judiciary Staff Salary Structure, leave allowances, and judicial autonomy.
However, out of the four demands, the previous administration was only able to grant one, the confirmation of the Chief Judge, and that was after the then Governor-elect, Dr. Otti, had declared that he would confirm Justice Abai, after being sworn in as governor.
The intervention of Governor Otti and promise to pay the outstanding salary arrears led to the calling off of the strike action by the workers, who associated under the aegis of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Abia State Chapter, in June 2023.
In fulfillment of that promise, therefore, the Abia State Government has begun payment of the consolidated salary arrears of the members of JUSUN, who have since confirmed that they have started receiving the arrears owed to them.