Cross River State Government has assured striking staff of the Ministry of Justice, under the aegis of law Officers’ Association of Nigeria (LOAN) of quick resolution of the issues between the body and government, barely a day after the lawyers declared an indefinite staff.
The association is seeking for the implementation of 2015 harmonization policy which approved a new remuneration package in the state for law officers as currently enjoyed by magistrates.
Acting Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu who disclosed this to the protesting staff in his officer in Calabar, yesterday lauded the critical role of the officers in the administration of justice in the state, saying that he will do all within his powers to settle their grievances and bring them back to work.
His words: “Whatever mixed feelings you might have had, just know that we cannot toil with you because you are very essential to the government. You defend us and the system and if you are unhappy, we will then lose all the cases and then we will need to pay a lot of damages and bills which is not very nice.”
Ivara who has just resumed yesterday as acting governor said: “It is amazing that this is the first issue I am having to deal with as acting governor of the state. The governor is on leave now and we cannot refer anything to him. So, what I can tell you now is that as soon as I leave you, I will call the Accountant General to find out what has been the hindrance to the implementation of this policy and I want to assure you that if it was an oversight, it will be addressed immediately.”
While urging the striking workers not to trade blames with the head of the MDA but have confident in the administration in resolving the issue, the acting governor noted: “There is a way to deal with this, even if it is just to harmonize this issues we will try and make sure that it is done as quickly as possible and not hold it against the Attorney General because he is our eye as far as that ministry is concerned and we will hold him responsible for anything that goes wrong there.”
Earlier, Chairman of Law Officers’ Association of Nigeria, Cross River State Chapter, Barrister Eneji Amajama, who described the protest as a peaceful one, said they were in the office of the governor to press home their legitimate demand for the implementation of the harmonized salary package for its members.
He thanked the Acting Governor for responding swiftly to their complaint and appealed for the speedy implementation of the harmonized salary to its over 120 staff across the state as captured in the budget.