It has been allegedly reported that Calabar City sweepers Cross River state have littered the front of the governor’s office with garbage in protest of their unpaid salaries for the past four months.In a surprising move, about 100 city sweepers in Calabar, the Cross River state capital, have taken to the streets in protest of their unpaid salaries for the past four months.
The sweepers complained seriously that ever since they have not received their pay and this is making them not to b able to carry on their job effectively. According to them, this unpaid salary has lasted since december, 2022. And out of anger, the sweepers poured debris from waste bins and other garbage in front of the governor’s office, obstructing vehicular movement around the seat of power located on Leopard Road.The sweepers chose this location for their protest to draw attention to their plight and to demand payment of their salaries.One of the affected sweepers, Iquo Asuquo, expressed her frustration with the situation, stating that their employer had ignored all their appeals for payment of their salaries.
“The salary they pay me is just 10,000 naira. Some of my colleagues collect even less, yet they have been unable to pay us.”We decided to express our displeasure today by littering front of the governor’s office with refuse, because all the appeal to our employer seems to be irrelevant and this government is leaving in a less than 35 days.
“They should just pay us, some of us are widows and have kids to take care of. We use the monthly stipends to buy vegetable, resell, while some sell ‘table market’ at Marian and Watt markets. We are barely surviving.”
Another affected sweeper, Deborah Essien, expressed her hope that the governor would be made aware of their situation. “We are suffering. Many are dying, you can imagine, living on N8,500 as a widow with five children.
“We are appealing to Professor Ben Ayade to help us. We did not mean to be irrational, but we want our plight to be taken serious because if nothing is done we will come back again.”
The protest has attracted the attention of passers-by, leading to the obstruction of vehicular movement around the governor’s office. It is also reported that security personnel including policemen, Department Security Services, and the DSS, were seen trying to stop passers-by and journalists from taking pictures and making videos as they were “apprehending” onlookers and deleting the pictures from their devices. The sweepers’ protest highlights the dire situation faced by many low-income workers in Nigeria who often struggle to make ends meet due to low salaries and irregular payments.