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COVID-19: Senior civil servants shun Gov Ben Ayade’s directive of resuming work

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Controversy trails approval of N900m for Ben Ayade to fight coronavirus in Cross River

Senior civil servants in the employment of Cross River State Government have shunned Governor Ben Ayade’s directive of getting back to work.

Gov Ayade in a press release ref: GO/PRESS/012/VOL.I/ 179, signed by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Governor, Christian Ita had directed all senior civil servants on grade level Grade Level 10 and above to resume work on Tuesday, April 14.

Sadly, majority of the workers in the state employment were yet to resume work after 72 hours Governor Ben Ayade directed them to do so. The workers were asked to proceed on two weeks holidays following the COVID-19 pandemic.

DAILY POST who went round various government offices including ministries and parastatals on Thursday, observed that some of the workers were yet to report on duty.

At the old and new secretariats as well as other ministries, few workers were seen at their respective offices as some of them said they cannot risk their lives by coming to work.

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Speaking to our reporter, a senior civil servant, who refused to give his name said, “It would have been better for government to allow this coronavirus to leave before asking civil servants to resume. We are scared of our lives and that of our families.

“When one comes out for work, we cannot stop meeting other people and these are the people we don’t know their health status as far as COVID-19 is concern. We may also carry items that are infected with COVID-19 while working.

“All the offices need to be fumigated before we resume normal work. You cannot ask workers to resume work after offices were shut down for some weeks. These offices need treatment too,” he stated.

Another worker, who appeared very casual said, “Do you think that with this COVID-19, I can come and sit there (Pointing at his ministry) and work? I came to see how things are but not to resume work.

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‘Let government do the needful by fumigating all the offices. Governor Ayade had announced that N500million was set aside for curbing of COVID-19 as well as millions of other donations that came in, let government utilise these money to protect the lives of it citizens.

“There are two things, announcing what you intend to do and effectively utilizing the money for the purpose it was meant for. We the senior civil servants and the low cadre are watching to see what the Governor would do with these moneys.

“Our prayers are that COVID-19 should not come to the State because if it comes, we shall be in serious danger. Yesterday, Nigeria Medical Association issued a statement lamenting that the State Government has no Isolation Centre and the number of Doctors in the State are 33, what a bad situation,” he lamented.

Disappointingly, none of the top civil servant in the rank of Permanent Secretaries was seen at their offices when our reporter visited.

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