Why We Blocked Gov Ayade’s Gate With Garbage – Calabar Sweepers – Lifestyle Nigeria

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Calabar, a city that was once reckoned as one of the cleanest cities in Nigeria was turned into an eyesore on Tuesday after city sweepers in the Cross River State capital, numbering about100, yesterday, littered the front of the Governor’s Office, Calabar with garbage in protest over their four months unpaid salary by the Governor Ben Ayade led administration.

The angry sweepers allegedly poured debris from waste bins and other garbage from the First Gate, which is the main entrance used only by the governor to the Second Gate used by others.

The women, who protested in front of the Governor’s Office told Vanguard that the last time they were paid their monthly stipends was in December 2022.

The protest attracted passers-by and also obstructed vehicular movement around the seat of power located on Leopard Road, Calabar.

Security personnel, including policemen, and state security service, were seen trying to stop passers-by and journalists from taking pictures and making videos as they were “apprehending” onlookers and deleting the pictures from their devices.

Speaking with Vanguard, one of the affected Calabar sweepers, Mrs Iquo Asuquo, said they have not been paid since December 2022, and this month of April will make it four months.

She said: “The salary they pay me is just N10,000. Some of my colleagues collect even less, yet they have been unable to pay us.

“We decided to express our displeasure today (yesterday) by littering the front of the Governor’s Office with refuse because all the appeals to our employer seem to be irrelevant and this government is leaving in less than 35 days.

“They should just pay us, some of us are widows and have kids to take care of. We use the monthly stipends to buy vegetables, and resell, while some sell ‘table market’ at Marian and Watt markets. We are barely surviving.”

Another of the affec affected sweeper, Mrs Deborah Essien, said: “We are suffering, many are dying. You can imagine living on N8,500 as a widow with five children.”

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