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C’River: City Sweepers Block Governor’s Office With Garbage Over Unpaid Salary

A group of roughly 100 city sweepers in Calabar, the Cross River state capital, have left garbage in front of the governor’s office in protest of the state government’s failure to pay their four-month salary.

The women who demonstrated in front of the governor’s office on Tuesday told Vanguard that the last time they were paid was in December 2022.

Their demonstration drew the attention of onlookers, causing vehicular flow around the seat of power on Leopard Road in Calabar to be obstructed.
According to those of them (sweepers) who spoke with Vanguard, they have tried to contact their employer but their pleas appear to have gone unanswered.

Vanguard observed that they poured debris from wasted bins and other garbage from the first gate which is the main entrance used only by the governor to the second gate used by other persons.

Security personnel including police men, and state security service, 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.


Speaking with Vanguard, one of the affected sweepers, Mrs Iquo Asuquo, said they have been unpaid since December 2022, and this month of April will make it four months.

“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.

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“We decided to express our displeasure today by littering the 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 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 vegetables, and resell, while some sell “table market ” at Marian and Watt market, we are barely surviving,” she said.

Another affected sweeper, Mrs Deborah Essien told Vanguard that they wanted to get the governor’s attention in case their handlers were not telling him the truth about their pathetic and unfortunate situation.

“We are suffering, many are dying, you can imagine, living on 8,500 as a widow with five children, we are appealing to Prof Ben Ayade to help us, we didn’t mean to be irrational, but we want our plight to be taken seriously because if nothing is done, we will come back again, she said.



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