By James Ibechi
Worried by the crisis that led to the recent inconclusive screening of Obi LG workers, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Odeh Ageh, has waded into the impasse with a view to solving the problem.
The commissioner who was in his hometown of Obarike on a state assignment, took the opportunity and called on the leaders of the Obi chapter of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in particular and the entire council workers in general to cooperate with the government screening officials, to ensure that right thing is done in accordance with the state government’s instruction on the screening.
Ageh promised to appeal to government to return the screening officials back to the area to complete the exercise peacefully, urging the union leaders to help towards same objective.
It would be recalled that the local government e-screening which was recently ordered by the Governor Samuel Ortom- led administration was inconclusive in Obi LGA following a controversy that erupted between the council workers who were being screened and the screening officials, forcing the exercise to be suspended.
While explaining to the commissioner who sought to know what transpired, the NULGE officials led by Comr. Adikpe Alex, said the controversy erupted when the screening committee veered off from using February 2012 voucher as the cutoff date.
Late arrival of the screening staff also contributed to the problem experienced in Obi LGC.
The state government’s term of reference for the screening is December 2012, but according to NULGE, the screening officials did not comply with it, neither were they carrying on with the exercise on a level playing field for all categories of workers, a situation which angered the restive workers, leading to a protest that forced the screening to a halt.
Hon. Ageh informed the NULGE officials that as their representative in the government, he will do all within his powers to persuade the screening committee to come back to Obi to complete the exercise.
He, therefore, advised NULGE to inform the workers to be orderly in their conduct to ease the work of the screening officials when they eventually go back to the council to complete the exercise.
The NULGE leaders thanked the commissioner for wading into the crisis, promising on their part, to work hand in hand with the government for the success of the screening.