Following the non-payment of their salaries, street sweepers in Calabar, Cross River State, on Tuesday, protested at the governor’s office.
“We are here to let the governor know that we have not been paid for four months. In 2015, they refused to pay us for six months and now they want to go with our four months’ salaries”, the women said through their 60-year-old leader, Madam Nkoyo Etim Effiong.
The sweepers made up of aged women carried out the protest in the presence of security operatives who tried frantically to break up the action.
Narrating their plight to newsmen, Effiong said they had not been paid for four months.
Effiong explained that some sweepers earned N5,000 while others earned N10,000.
“Those of us who are sweepers are paid differently. There are those who collect N5,000, N8,000 and N10,000 monthly. There are those we call “wreckers” and they collect N15,000 a month. We just want them to give us our money before they leave office,” she said.
Speaking about the risk involved in the job, another elderly woman, Emana Cobham, said, “By 4.30am, you must go to your duty post, sweep your portion, which is always a long stretch, before day breaks,” adding that many sweepers had been killed by motorists, some raped while others lost their phones and other valuables to robbers.