The civil servants in Imo State embarked on a strike to press home demands for better working conditions.
The Head of the Civil Service in Imo, Nkechi Onumajuru, has directed all permanent secretaries in the state to ensure that the striking workers in their ministries return to work.
Ms. Onumajuru said in Owerri on Wednesday in an interview that any civil servant who fails to report to duty by Wednesday would be sanctioned.
The state chapter of the joint negotiation council had directed civil servants in the state to embark on an indefinite strike to draw the government’s attention to the predicaments of the state’s civil servants.
But Ms. Onumajuru said the strike was illegal and warned that any worker who abandoned his or her duty would be punished.
She said the council had no reason to declare a strike as the state chapter of the NLC was not consulted.
Ms. Onumajuru blamed security agencies for not responding quickly when the council asked workers out of the state secretariat and barricaded the main entrances to the building.
The state Chairman of the council, Coleman Okwara, however, said there would be no going back on the strike until the government realises the plights of its workers.
He said the state government had failed in the area of workers’ welfare, and noted that the only way to attract its attention was through strikes.
He said the workers who were overdue for promotion had yet to receive any indication of a possible promotion.
Mr. Okwara said that since Governor Rochas Okorocha suspended the chairman of the state civil service commission, Augustine Otuekere, civil service activities had not stabilised.
He said the suspension of Mr. Otuekere was one of the reasons for the strike, and called on the governor to recall him.
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