The state government had previously promised to discipline any civil servant who participated in the strike out of sympathy.
The NLC argued that the state administration lacked the authority to penalize any civil servant who joined the planned protest out of solidarity.
Dr. Rufus Godwins, the state’s head of service, issued the warning to employees in Port Harcourt.
Godwins said that there was no rationale for state civil servants to participate in the strike and that neither lecturers nor state civil servants were owed anything by the state government.
“This does not detract from the rights of civil servants to belong to their different unions. But they cannot take part in a strike under the guise of a sympathy strike with another agency or another tier of government which is not fulfilling its obligation to its own staff while we are doing our own.” He said.
“That is why I say you cannot go and do a sympathy strike. When we owe you, then that is a different ball game. We do not owe our civil servants. Our universities are running. We are fulfilling our obligations to them.”
The state HoS declared that an attendance record would be opened right away to track negligent civil servants and issue suitable punishments.
“We have 170 universities in Nigeria. If the Federal Government cannot run the universities, let them shut them down and rationalise the universities. Under the public service rules applicable to the services, every civil servant knows that absence from duty is an act of misconduct and there is a punishment for it. Malingering, loitering, refusal to treat files; you can’t be away from your duty without permission, you will he queried.”
The HoS further stressed;
“And especially so if the absence was occasioned by an illegal motive, for you to take part in a strike that we do not allow you to take part in.”
𝑳𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒕?
𝑾𝒆’𝒅 𝒃𝒆 𝒅𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒓 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒚𝒐𝒖. 𝑷𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒂 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒃𝒐𝒙 𝒃𝒆𝒍𝒐𝒘!