The Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, on Friday threatened to disengage judiciary workers if they embark on their planned strike.
Umahi made this known during a one-day COVID-19 sensitization of over four thousand teachers, principals and health workers ahead of the planned resumption of schools in the state.
The sensitization took place at the Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State.
According to him: “Our size financially, sometimes people come to me and say, look at what Rivers State is paying, look at what Enugu, Lagos States are paying, that is foolishness.
“It is foolish for someone to compare us with those states. I cannot go into a contest with someone that is taller than me. But when it comes to something on the ground, we will struggle it out.
“Let me use this opportunity to ask members of the civil service in the Ebonyi State Judiciary, do not succumb to the decision of going to strike.
“I will replace all of you overnight because you will not get one kobo. If do not work, you will not be paid.
“The Deputy Governor and Speaker have handled them so much and can attest that we pay more than Akwa-Ibom. There are few states that pay ahead of us but they couldn’t continue.
“The civil service in the concurrent list and you pay according to means. If you come to Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, we are the list. It is foolish to tell me that this state is paying this or paying that.
“We are doing our best. Remember, we are so neglected and there was no infrastructure before, no medical and schools were moribund.
“And so, let them not succumb to think that they are going on strike. It will be one strike to regret forever. Other states are cutting down the salaries of civil servants and public officeholders. But I made a pledge that no salary of any person, whether public or civil servants will be cut in Ebonyi State.
“And somebody is asking me to increase salaries. Even if they are right, it is not the time to be talking about it. Now we are faced with COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated.