Anambra workers numbering a few hundreds on Thursday besieged the Ziks Avenue, Awka branch of Fidelity Bank in protest over refusal to release funds meant for their salaries.
TNC correspondent gathered that the protesting workers included the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Service Employees.
They bore placards bearing various inscriptions, chanting protest songs and calling on the present state governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo to intervene in their predicament.
The placards accused both Fidelity Bank and the government of Anambra State of gross insensitivity to the plight of civil servants who have been undergoing excruciating economic consequences, despite the fact that the governor swore an oath of office to protect their interest.
The angry workers had arrived at the Fidelity Bank office at Ziks Ave Awka around 7.am and blocked the entrance to the bank, preventing normal operations unless they were convinced as to the bank’s readiness to respect the rule of law.
It was gathered that the union had secured judgement against Anambra State government from the National Industrial Court, Enugu and had been appealing to the government of Anambra State, over several years of unpaid salary without positive response, until they got verdict from the National Industrial Court to garnish government accounts.
It was also revealed that the Anambra government is owing the concerned government agencies in the state about seven years arrears of salaries and have been frustrating all efforts for them to get paid and be reinstated as ordered by the court.
One of the protesters who pleaded anonymity said it was even more pathetic, that the past state administration under former governor Willie Obiano frustrated both the matter and payment of workers by engaging one of the smartest legal practitioners in the country, Onyebuchi Ikpeazu SAN to challenge the workers’ claims to their statutory entitlements.
“Fidelity Bank in connivance with government in a situation that seems like a conspiracy, has refused to release to the workers, funds as ordered by the court.
“Instead, they chose to continue delaying payment through yet another appeal, while the workers are dying in their numbers and others bedridden for one sickness or the other, due to lack of income,” the source lamented.
Speaking through Dr Kate Nworah, the workers appealed to the state government led by Prof. Chukwuma Soludo to come to their rescue, considering that the staff of Water Cooporation, Anambra State Environmental Protection ANSEPA and other concerned agencies, have actually suffered enough.