Labour Accuses Ayade Of Looting N38.8bn Bailout Fund, Says Strike Continues

Organised Labour has accused Cross River State Governor, Mr Ben Ayade of looting N38.8billion he received as bailout fund and Paris Club refunds disbursed by the federal government.

They called on the governor to come clean on how he spent the funds if indeed his hands were clean.

Addressing workers on Thursday in Calabar, the NLC Chairman, Comrade Ben Ukpebi Congratulated the workers for their resilient while lauding Labour leaders for the unity

Comrade Ukpebi however, pleaded with them stressing that “we have heard your pain and we feel your pulse.”

On his part, TUC chairman, Comrade Monday Ogbodum, said they were going to report back to government the position of the workers in Cross River .

They further disclosed that they have not signed any Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the state government yet.

They added that what the various unions have agreed ( no going back on the strike) stands, stressing that government must commence implementation of agreements first before the suspension of the industrial action.

Accusing Ayade of misappropriation, they restated their position that all conditions must be met before any strike is called off.

In a release signed by Organized Labour comprising NLC,TUC and JNC they questioned Governor Ben Ayade on how the money was spent.

In a release titled “Bail -Out Funds / Paris Club Refunds, Let workers Get Their Due” sent to THE WHISTLER, they stated that the suffering of workers and retirees was majorly caused by the Ayade led adminstration.

“We wish to remind Cross Riverians that the suffering of workers / Retirees of the state is majorly caused by this Ayde government.

“The Federal government had, between 2015 -2017, given monies to the state to apply 75% to tackling workers, retirees plights. Here are funds given basically for workers and retirees benefits.

”Bail-Out Funds first tranche was 7.8 billion naira, second tranche was 11.5 billion,while the state also got 12.5 billion as first tranche of Paris Club refund and 6.75 billion as the second tranche.

“Comrades, the Paris Club Refunds were monies over deducted from government before the Ayade led adminstration. So, we can say that previous government saved these monies for the present government.

“We are also aware of further unexpected funds that this government have received. It is unfair forGovernor Ayade not to consider plights of our dying Retirees and workers that have been stagnated for years. Comrades ,continue to stay at home until you hear from us ,” they stated.

The strike began over 23 days ago with labour accusing the governor of insincerity especially as he had turned down negotiation three times and equally failed to send representative to engage the workers.

The governor, has however, insisted that labour must call off the strike before any negotiation begins, a situation which has prolonged the strike, putting children out of school and all government institutions shutdown.

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