By Taimako Sunday Anyuabaga, Lafia.
Industrial Court sitting in Makurdi, Benue State has reengaged the 402 Keana LGA workers disengaged since 2012.
Justice Ubanjida in his ruling on Friday, July 10 declared that, “the disengagement of about four hundred and two (402) Keana LGA staff, by the Nasarawa state government was illegal, hence, all disengaged staff should resume work immediately and all their entitlements should be given to them.”
It will be recalled that sometimes in August 2012, Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura disengaged about twelve thousand (12,000) local government workers in Nasarawa state.
Consequently, Nasarawa State Caretaker l Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and former member of the 4th Assembly, Nasarawa state House of Assembly (NSHA), Hon. Francis Orogu, popularly refered to as the voice of the voiceless, the vanguard of the poor, headed to the National Industrial Court challenging the illegal disengagement of the hardworking staff by the Nasarawa state government.
The counsel to the plaintiffs in court Barr. Ucha Ulegede said that, “the state government in the first instance lack the legal backing to have disengaged the local government workers.”
Responding to newsmen, Hon. Francis Orogu said, ” I single handedly financed and pursued the case all this while in the Industrial court for 8 years not because I have enough but I feel someone must stand for the oppressed.”
He added that, “mind you I resorted to court case on behalf of the sacked Keana workers my primary constituency as a true advocate of the people, after all political efforts to restore the said workers by the 4th assembly was deliberately sabotaged by the state government.”
Reacting to the verdict, some of the disengaged staff, Danjuma Omame and Felicia James Akwe, expressed their gratitude to God Almighty and Hon. Francis Orogu for pursueing the matter to the logical conclusion saying that, “today is our happiest and long awaited day we hoped for”.