File photo: Protesters carrying placards
KATSINA – Casual health workers in Katsina State have on Wednesday staged a protest to the state government house and barricaded entrance to the General Muhammadu Buhari government house.
The persons in their numbers disrupted movements in and out through the main entrance to the government house, leaving both staffs, visitors and cars to go through other routes to gain access to the government house.
Leading the protest, Chairman of the workers, Sirajo Malumfashi said it staged the protest to press home it demands such as employment for the casual workers, flat rate of level 3 and cry out over condemnation of health technology by a big shot in the government.
In his words: “we came here with three request. Our major request is we need confirmation and employment because some of us have spent 18 years, some 20 years and others 5 years doing this casual work. So we request for confirmation.
“Secondly, the issue of conversion of casual workers to S-Power. They should take us in flat rate of level 3 because no difference between the casual and S-Power. Lastly, we expressed our dissatisfaction with a big shot in the government condemning health technology.
“So we met with the Health Commissioner and Permanent Secretary (government house) were able to register our grievances. So we give them 3-weeks to await their responses and failure to meet up, we will take another line of action,” Malumfashi said.
A casual worker who spoke on condition of anonymity alleged that the governor made an unfulfilled promise of employing them as permanent staffs if he wins the election.
“Governor Masari during his campaign, promised to employ us as permanent staffs. But to our surprise his first term is winding up but he is yet to fulfill his promise.
“We are paid N10,000 as allowances every month but as I speak with you we are owed six months allowances.
“There are people among us who have died and left families behind due to this situation we can not cater for them because the pay is nothing to write home about and we are being owed six months,” he said.
The aggrieved casual workers were seen with placards carrying inscriptions such as “Say No To S-Power,” and “Gov. Masari fulfill your campaign promises now,” among others.
It was gathered that with Wednesday’s protest makes it the fourth time the casual workers are staging a protest of such.
Meanwhile, it was also gathered that outcome of meeting with some officials of the casual workers and the State’s Health Commissioner, Hajiya Mariatu Bala-Usman and the Government House Permanent Secretary, Muntari Lawal ended with the later promising to forward their complaints to the Governor and directed them to put in written it request for flat rate of level 3 for onward delivery to the Governor.
In an earlier chat with the State Commissioner of Health, Hajiya Mariatu Bala-Usman said the government under Governor Masari will not continue with casualization of workers initiated by the previous administration.
Hajiya Bala-Usman said only workers with health certificates will be absorbed and recruited in the state to ensure smooth take off of the Primary Health Care Under One Roof, PHCUOR, agency.
To this end, the Commissioner said a consultancy firm and a committee chaired by her and that which comprises representatives of all relevant stakeholders is working to verify the workers, equipment and the health facilities among others