BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
Less than a month to the Christmas, the Edo State Government has disengaged the services of about 2000 street sweepers and cleaners thus jeopardising their dream of having a memorable period during the season.
As early as 7.00am on Thursday, December 7th, the street sweepers and cleaners embarked on a peaceful demonstration to the state government house accusing the government of owing them eight months salaries.
As they marched in their hundreds they related harrowing experiences of poverty, hunger and starvation caused them and their families because of the state government’s care free attitude towards their welfare and the subsequent pronouncement.
It was gathered from some of the contractors that engaged the sweepers and cleaners on behalf of the state government that they(contractors) have not been paid for the services they’re rendering for eight months.
“The government is owing us for eight months but what it promised to pay us is just for six months which falls quite short of our expectations.
“We have been trying our best to manage the situation. So, it came as a shock when we got a letter recently from the government disengaging us from the contract,” a contractor who spoke on condition of anonymity disclosed.
However, it was learnt that the government took the decision to do away with the services of the contractors as a result of the several protests by the street sweepers and cleaners which the government was said to be becoming uncomfortable with.
Responding to the protest and allegations, Crusoe Osagie, the Special Adviser on Media to the State Governor, in a statement said: “The street sweepers are not the employees of the Edo State Government, they are hired by contractors to the state government whose duty it is to pay the cleaners their wages.”
Meanwhile, it was gathered that SEEFOR, an agency under the state Ministry of Environment, will now be in charge of the street sweeping and cleaning duty.
BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN