The Non-acedemic Staff Union of the College of Education (Technical) Arochukwu (ASCETA), Abia State, has petitioned the traditional ruler of Arochukwu Kingdom (Eze Aro), His Royal Majesty, Eze Vincent Ogbonnaya Okoro, seeking his intervention in the mass sack of its members.
In the letter, the union stated conditions under which the institution can justifiably sack any of its members, let alone the recent mass retrenchment of no fewer than 149 of them.
The union wrote thus:
”His Royal Majesty, Eze Vincent Ogbonnaya Okoro (CFR VIII, EZE AROCHUKWU KINGDOM)
LETTER OF INTIMATION AND CALL FOR ACTION
We give to the almighty God who has sustained and brought us to the last quarter of the year through his supreme power.
We also appreciate you for your tireless efforts in keeping our State peaceful.
The management of Abia State College of Education (Technical), Arochukwu, has shortlisted a hand full of names of staff members of our union, for termination of their appointment without first and foremost:
- Liquidating 25 months arrears of salaries owed to them and
- Paying them off.
Resulting from the information above, and most importantly, the fact that our grievances are yet to be given attention, we appeal as follows:
- That you advice the management to withdraw from the downsizing exercise, and follow due process.
- Pay all the outstanding salaries of 25 months to the staff members of the college.
- Be also informed, Sir, that we will be embarking on peaceful protest within the bounds of Arochukwu community on Monday 11, 2019, possibly at Umuahia, if the need arises and the status quo persist.
Comrade Obasi N. C. (Branch Secretary)
Comrade Nwosu D. O. (Branch Chairman)
Indeed trouble reportedly started on November 4, 2019, when the management of the institution distributed sack letters to some non-academic staff of the college, in an exercise described as ‘down seizing’.
Aro News learned that the exercise was a fall-out of the report of the government’s visitation panel, which allegedly indicted the management of the institution for reportedly maintaining a disproportionate staff to students ratio.
Following the discovery, the management was said to have been advised to lay off the last batch of employees in its workforce.
Unconfirmed report has it that the Provost of the College, Dr. Phillips Nto, smelt a rat, that Arochukwu people want to remove him from office.
Already, some Arochukwu people have read meaning to the retrenchment, alleging that the exercise was skewed against their indigenes, consisting about 86 among the sacked workers.
Aro News also learned that high wire politics may have played a role in the retrenchment saga.