Abia State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has described as utterly embarrassing, a cheap, infantile and barefaced lie by the Labour Party Government of Dr Alex Otti that the immediate past government owed judiciary workers in the State for the eight years.
The PDP said that it was shocked to see what it described as a despicable and unconscionable press release from Otti which was signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Kazie Uko wherein he mischievously alleged that it
has commenced the payment of the eight years salary arrears to Judiciary workers in Abia State.
Elder Abraham Amah, Abia PDP Vice Chairman/ Acting State Publicity Secretary said that the Judiciary workers in Abia State were paid their due salaries and allowances at the time former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu handed over the reins of government to Otti on May 29, 2023.
Amah therefore said that the issue of eight years of salary arrears is nothing but the wicked construction of the current administration to continue to ride on the back of lies and propaganda to cover up its incompetence in governance.
“For the record, the Judiciary workers union, JUSUN was in discussions with all the State governments as of 2015, long before Dr Okezie Ikpeazu assumed office and there were many issues on the table including autonomy for the Judiciary and minimum wage salary increase for its members.
“Unfortunately for the Ikpeazu administration, the same elements shouting about a non-existent eight years salary arrears today were the ones that surreptitiously forced the JUSUN leadership to single out Abia State for a proposed strike meant to embarrass the young administration.
“To stave off the strike, it signed an agreement to increase Judiciary staff minimum wage from N22,000 to N40,000 which many States rejected and JUSUN insisted on being paid the six months arrears before the agreement which the previous government refused to pay because it considered it outrageous and that is what Alex Otti and his handlers have mischievously, as always, converted to eight years.
“Thankfully and to the vindication of Abia PDP and Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, as widely reported by the mainstream news media in Nigeria, the Chief Registrar of Abia State High Court, Mrs Victoria Okey-Nwokeukwu had refuted the claim that Judges and Judiciary workers in Abia State were owed salaries because according to her, Honourable Judges are paid by the National Judiciary Council (NJC) while Abia State pays their allowances including vacation allowance which has been paid up to 2022 and she described the report that Judiciary workers were being owed eight years salary as misleading and an embarrassment to the State government.”
Explaining further, Amah said that similarly, the former Commissioner for Finance during the Okezie Ikpeazu administration Mr Obinna Oriaku weighed in on the matter and described as untrue the statement that Ikpeazu owed Judiciary workers eight years’ salaries.
Amah said that it is unfortunate that the Otti government would build its image and public relations on lies and propaganda just to defend its incompetence and scapegoat the Abia PDP for its unending policy somersault and failures.
“From what has transpired in this ill-fated outing where its shameful lies have been punctured and ridiculed, it is obvious to Abians that the majority of what this government has sold to them since May 29, 2023, is nothing but lies, lies and lies to deceive them.”