Asaba 2018 fallout: Workers, Guards Block Roads Over Unpaid Allowances
ASABA – Hundreds of menial workers and private security guards yesterday trooped to the streets of Asaba, the Delta State capital, protesting over their unpaid salaries and maltreatment by the Local Organizing Committee of the African Senior Athletics Championship.
The protesters, comprising those engaged by private consultants, namely, Dambiri Global, Top Private Security and Force Guard that got contracts from the LOC, headed by Chief Olomon 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 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.
A nursing mother among them, who simply identified herself as Amaka, supported by her counterpart, Grace, lamented that they were made to resume clean-up by 5.30am and close 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 days event, was slashed to N7,500, and some persons were shortlisted for N6,000.
She said: “We were promised N3,000 for a full day’s work. We resumed 5.30am and close around 8.30pm. We fetched water with buckets for three days after the stanchion collapsed which was not the initial agreement.
To get our money again today (yesterday) became a problem because they felt they had used and they could dump us.”
One of the guards, nicknamed ‘Africa’ bitterly complained against a consultant – General Consultancy Guard, for plotting to short-pay them.
He expressed shock that they were subjected to inhuman treatment immediately the event came to a close 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 transportation and feeding during the five days. Now, the event has come and gone, someone – somewhere wants to shortchange us.”
They said peace would not reign unless they were paid according to the initial agreements during training as efforts to reach Ogba, proved abortive.