Workers at the Paul University, Awka, Anambra State, have protested the non-payment of their two-year salaries.
The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions such as, ‘Working without payment is unscriptural’, ‘starvation is the worst form of attack, pay your staff or shutdown’, ‘Primate have mercy on us’, said the debts ranged between 14 to 28 months.
Their protest came just as the Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, inaugurated the Law faculty building of the institution on Saturday.
Speaking on behalf of the protesters, the acting Head, Information and Communication Technology, Chidi Gabriel, said while the Adjunct staff were being owed 28 months, those on contracts and regular engagements were owed 24 and 14 months respectively.
He lamented that it was unfortunate that an institution jointly owned by 55 dioceses would find it difficult to pay its workers.
He, however, absolved the Archbishop of Niger Province, Rt Rev. Alexander Ibezim, who he said had cushioned their suffering through provisions of periodic bailout funds.
He said, “We have been working these months without salary and they have been making promises without any fulfilment. Imagine what our families are passing through without salary?
“There is a saying that a goat owned by the public dies faster. That is our experience in this school. Why not shut down the school if they cannot afford to pay?”
In his reaction, the Primate assured them that he had waded into the matter, adding that their grievances were receiving attention.
He said, “Your issues are receiving attention. I have stepped into the matter. The labourer deserves his wages. I stand with you and feel your pains. I and other Bishops, Senate and management will put heads together to ensure your matter receives attention.
“I have directed that some money be released to attend to the issue. In due time you will hear from us.”
The law building, named after the Archbishop of Niger Province was inaugurated by the Primate and Archbishop of Enugu Diocese, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma and other bishops from various dioceses across the country.
The Primate had also dedicated Renaissance Modern Polytechnic Mbaukwu and Millennium college of Nursing Sciences, Awka.