Imo State government yesterday declared that the sacked Chairman of Nigeria labour Congress (NLC), Austin Chilakpu, was an impostor who was sponsored by politicians to betray the workers.
Chilakpu was removed on Monday as chairman by the workers who accused him of maladministration and working against their interest.
He was immediately replaced by Comrade Ndubuisi Uchehara who by yesterday had assumed office at the Labour House, along Port Harcourt road, Owerri.
However, the state government debunked the allegation by the sacked chairman that 17,000 workers and pensioners were being owed in the state.
In a press conference in Owerri, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Emelumba said Chilakpu was the greatest enemy of the workers, adding that he was actually disconnected with many affiliate unions of the congress who never had confidence in his leadership.
According to him, apart from being hired by opposition politicians to lie against the state government, the former chairman was ignorant of the status of workers because he had since retired from service.
The commissioner said it was curious that a man who claimed to be leading workers did not even know the number of those who have been paid up to date.
He said contrary to the number being bandied by Chilakpu, the state government has paid all verified workers and pensioners up to December last year. "Even the new chairman of NLC confirmed that to journalists yesterday," he added
He said the few who haɗ problems with the automation process have been encouraged to sort out the matter through the personal identification form all workers have been asked to fill.
Emelumba regretted that at a time the Government was seeking the resolution of outstanding issues from the automation process, the ousted leader sought to lead the workers to strike.
"That was what he tried to do last December. Just as the workers were getting ready to receive their salaries before Christmas, he called them to strike. What manner of leadership is that?" he asked
The commissioner noted that instead of working for the interest of workers, Chilakpu was actually frustrating their efforts to get their salaries.
He said it was instructive that the workers effected the change of leadership seamlessly because they discovered that Chilakpu was an impostor.
He challenged the former chairman to tender documents to contradict the workers that he is now a retiree.
"You can now understand why he was leading the workers astray. He was only there for his pay masters who were using him to attempt to destabilise the government", the commissioner submitted.