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Workers shut down Asaba stadium over unpaid wages

Workers shut down Asaba stadium over unpaid wages -

Hundreds of aggrieved workers and private security guards yester­day trooped to the streets of Asaba, the Delta state capital, protesting against their unpaid salaries and maltreatment by the Local Organising Commit­tee (LOC) of the African Senior Athletics Championship.

The protesters, compris­ing those engaged by private consultants, namely, Dambiri Global, Top Private Security (TPS) and Force Guard (FG) that got contracts from the Local Organising Committee, headed by Chief Solomon Ogba and the chairman of the state’s Sports Commission, Chief To­nobok Okowa, threatened to cripple commercial activities in the metropolis.

They angrily blocked the popular Nnebisi Road, leading to the stadium, to express their displeasure as they hurled abuses on the organisers over their ill-treatment.

It took the intervention of soldiers and men of the Eagle Net of the police command be­fore they were evacuated from the road to the premises of the sports commission.

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A nursing mother among them, who simply identified herself as Amaka, and her counterpart, Grace, lamented that they were made to resume clean-up by 5.30am and closed after contingents, Very Import­ant Persons (VIPs) and specta­tors had left around 8.30pm.

She said they became angry after the N15,000, being the total amount for the five-day event, was slashed to N7,500, and some persons were short­listed for N6,000. “We were promised N3,000 for a full day work. We resume 5.30 am and close around 8.30 pm. We fetched water with buckets for three days after that col­lapse which was not the initial agreement. To get our money again today (yesterday) be­came a problem because they felt they had used us and they can dump us.”

One of the guards, nick­named ‘Africa’ bitterly com­plained against a consultant he accused plotting to short-pay them. He expressed shock that they were subjected to in­human treatment immediate­ly the event ended last Sunday night. “We provided security throughout the event. Prior to the championship, we were trained for two weeks without pay, accommodation and feed­ing. No provision was made for our transport and feeding during the five days. Now, the event has come and gone; someone, somewhere, wants to shortchange us.”

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They threatened that peace would not reign unless they were paid according to the initial agreement during training.

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