By; Bala B. Bitrus, Minna.
Contract employees of the National Library, Minna in Niger state have barred entry into the facility by all persons over their fourteen months unpaid salaries.
The aggrieved affected workers said they have gone for over a year without salary hence their resolve to put the facility under locks and keyed till their entitlements were fully settled.
The contract workers had early on Tuesday morning arrived at the gate of the Library and took over the control of the place as they firmly secured the entrance and prevented all forms of movements into or out of the place.
Regular, permanent employees of the National library who had resumed work from Christmas and New year break and other users of the library facilities who were at the premises were shocked to see the place under locks and keyed.
Some of the segment of the contract workers who spoke to our correspondent, said their actions was a last resort to compel the management of the National library to pay them their entitlements which have accumulated for over 14 months.
One of the contract workers who spoke on the condition of anonymity said “we are waiting for them to settle our 14 months of unpaid salaries and until then, the Minna facility of the National library will remain under locks and keyed. It is either the management of the Minna office pay us or their headquarters in Abuja pay us”
Head of the contract workers in Minna, Malam Ibrahim Danlami who later spoke to journalists, confirmed that the workers were owed a backlog of entitlements but appealed for restraint from the aggrieved workers.
Danlami also urged the management of the National library and National Librarian, Prof. Lanre L. Olatokumbo to look into the plights of the suffering workers and consider their hardships with compassionate heart.
He assured that while the stand up continues, no harm would be done to anyone nor to the infrastructure at the library. “We will continue with the indefinite strike until our 14 months salaries are paid. The gates of the National Library, Minna would remain under locks against staff and visitors to the library” he said.
The Head Librarian, Minna branch of the National Library, Mr. Philemon Arya directed our correspondent to the Abuja headquarters of the National Library. He insisted that he was not authorized to speak on the matter.