Imo: Sacked Workers Demand Entitlements

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There was tension Mon
day, at the Ministry of Niger Delta’ Affairs office in  Imo State, when disengaged youths locked up the premises and  demanded their salary and other entitlements.
The youths, who were recruited as security men five years ago under a contract approved by the former Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs,  Godday Orubebe, were sacked after the contract was said to have been revoked.
Speaking with newsmen the President of the Imo State chapter of the  Niger Delta Youth Forum, Mr. Luck Obi, said: “It is inhuman to ask the  youth to go home without paying them their four months’ salary. They  have been replaced with retired military personnel.”
He said the ministry was established by the late President Umaru Musa  Yar’Adua to empower Niger Delta youths and eradicate restiveness, adding  that the disengaged youths were those who lost their land and other  property to oil exploration.
According to him, some of these youths are married, have children and  other dependants . It is unbelievable that the ministry sacked youths and  replaced them with retired soldiers, who are receiving pension.”
Obi urged the ministry to rescind the decision, saying: “It will be sad to  hear that what took the late President a lot of efforts to set up will be  dismantled without considering the plight of youths, even when our  brother is the President.”
Efforts to speak to the officials of the ministry were unsuccessful, as some  of the workers, who were seen outside the premises, declined comment.  They referred our reporter to Abuja, the headquarters of the ministry.