BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja
The Ministry of Environment in Abuja was yesterday placed under lock and key asstaff’s numbering over 200 embarked on a peaceful protest over non- payment of salaries of cleaners and security personnel serving in the ministry for the past six months.
Theprotesters which LEADERSHIP learnt comprised of senior staff union from Grade Level 8 and upward also indicted the ministry for their failure to pay for repatriation and 1st 28 days since 2012.
Part of their grievances was also the inability of the ministry to train members of staff and provide working materials since 2012.
Anon the spot assessment by LEADERSHIP revealed that the offices were under lock and key as staff were not allowed to gain entrance into their offices exceptwith the permission of the Union chairman who was identified as Mr Lekan.
It was also discovered that the protesters stormed the ministry as early as 8.30ameven as no management staff was on ground to addressthe protesters as at 12pm.
Someof their grievances as pasted on the notice board are “No payment of repatriation since 2012”; “no payment of 1st 28 days since2012”; “buy your chin-chin and buns at the reception”; “noworking materials since 2012” ; “no training since 2012” and”DFA go chop, monkey go chop”.
The other inscription read, “We demand equal rights and justice; strengthenour institutions, don’t kill our motivation; give us our dues as at when due;we are in Nigeria and not in Libya; stop the economic blockades; we have families to care for; we have bills to pay and humans must survive, is this sustainable development.”
Further investigations revealed that the staffs requested for Christmas bonus, which they felt that the ministry rebuffed their demand.
Attempt to speak with the union chairman identified as Mr Lekan proved abortive as he declined to grant interview to LEADERSHIP.