Workers of the Imo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (ISOPADEC), have appealed to the state government, Senator Hope Uzodimma, to facilitate the immediate release of their colleagues from prison custody.
The state police command had arrested and detained 15 officials of the commission over their alleged attack on the convoy of the state governor while protesting their three -month salary arrears in Owerri on Monday.
The 15 persons were charged to court by the police for treason on Wednesday and remanded in custody.
Addressing newsmen in Owerri, the chairman of ISOPADEC Workers Union, Comrade Chinedu Awuzie, insisted that the staff of the commission were not involved in the alleged attack on the governor’s convoy.
While condemning the alleged attack, Awuzie said “All the workers of ISOPADEC stand with the state government to condemn the attack on governor’s convoy. We are peaceful and civilised people and would not tolerate such barbaric act. Let those behind the dastardly act be apprehended and prosecuted. But, we insist that none of the 15 staff of ISOPADEC held in prison nor any of us had any hand in the said attack. We therefore plead that the governor uses his good office to release our members from the prison”.
The workers used the opportunity to appeal to the governor to reverse the 80 per cent cut in their salaries in July.
According the chairman, since workers of the commission don’t receive pension after retirement, it was inhuman to slash their salaries.
He added that besides the pay cut, government was still owing staff of the commission three –month salary, which he said had made them suffer untold hardship.
Awuzie, who displayed bank details of their July salary, said while majority of their staff received 80 per cent pay cut, some of the staff members were yet to be paid.