The Rivers Civil Society Organisations (RIVSCO) has given Nyesom Wike, governor of the state, a two-week ultimatum to pay salaries owed to some teachers over the past five years.
Some of the teachers had stormed the Rivers house of assembly on Wednesday over their unpaid salaries.
In a statement on the owed workers, Enefaa Georgewill, an executive member of the RIVSCO coalition group, said there will be major protests across the state if the governor refuses to pay the outstanding salaries of 250 affected teachers at the expiration of the ultimatum.
Wike was said to have ordered that the salaries of the teachers be stopped after their schools flouted the government’s free-tuition policy by collecting fees from the students.
Some of the affected schools in the state are Ignatius Ajuru University of Education Demonstration Secondary School, Ndele; Seashell Model Primary School, Port Harcourt; Rivers State University International Secondary and Staff Schools, Port Harcourt, and Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic Comprehensive Secondary School, Bori.
“We join the over 250 teachers who are workers of the state government to plead with Governor Wike to revisit the decision on their monthly salaries and pay up their five years unpaid salaries,” the statement reads.
“These workers have suffered great hardship and deaths of their members in the period this has been going on. We want to ask the Governor to look back; these are Rivers people. The school fees they allegedly collected were not given to them, they have families, children and spouses. Most of them are their family breadwinners; some are widows, among others.
“In the light of these, we are giving the government until the middle of March to pay them all the arrears or we call out all groups and members of civil society organisations in the state to the streets to a peaceful demonstration and remain there until he pays the people all that he owes.”
Meanwhile, as of the time of this report, the state government is yet to issue an official response on the matter.