Over 100 Street sweepers between the ages of 40 and 60, have taken to Diamond Hill, Calabar the seat of the Government of Cross River State to litter the place with dirt over unpaid salaries.
CONVERSEER reports that the road sweepers, mostly women who are being owed four months’ salaries also blocked the entrance to the Governor’s Office, Calabar, on Tuesday (April 25).
The women who sweep the metropolis (Calabar South and Calabar Municipality), said their salary ranges between N5,000, N8,000, N10,000, and N15,000, yet, Governor Ben Ayade is unable to pay.
Some said their belongings have been thrown outside by their house owners because they are unable to renew their rents.
Others said they have family members at the hospitals but can’t afford hospital bills.
The leader of the sweepers, who is in her 60s, Nkoyo Etim Effiong, said they have not paid street sweepers in the state since December last year, making it four months without salaries.
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“We are here to let the governor know that we have not been paid for four months. In 2015, they refused to pay us for six months and now they want to go away with our four months’ salaries.
“Those of us who are sweepers are paid differently. Some collect N5,000, N8,000, and N10,000 monthly. There are those we call Wreckers and they collect N15,000 a month. We just want them to give us our money before they leave office”, Effiong said.
Another sweeper, an elderly woman who gave her name as Emana Cobham claimed that they take so much risk in the course of sweeping the streets, adding “By 4.30 am, you must go to your duty post, sweep your portion which is always a long stretch before day breaks ”
She recalled that many sweepers have lost their lives to accidents, and that “some have been raped while others have been robbed of their valuables, including phones.”
One other, Affiong Asibong said her mother is hospitalised and she needs the money to foot her bills.
“My mom is at the hospital till now, they want to operate her I don’t have any money to take care of the bills”, Asibong said.
The women were later dispersed by security operatives from the Governor’s Office.
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