The workers carrying placards with different inscriptions said the call became necessary following the use of security agents to prevent them from carrying out a peaceful protest to tell the world their plight.
The Newshawk reporters observed that dozens of battle-ready police were on Monday deployed at the three points in Yola earmarked for street protest by the sack workers who were engaged by the previous APC government but disowned by the current PDP led administration.
The estranged workers had scheduled a street protest for 9: am the Police Roundabout through to the State House of Assembly and then to Government House, all within the Jimeta axis of the state capital, but the Adamawa State Police Command, very early on Monday morning, dispatched personnel and vehicles to the indicated venues of the protest match.
As a result of the police action, the frustrated workers shelved their original idea but converged quietly around Item Seven, a popular Restaurant some hundreds of meters from the famous Police Roundabout.
Mr Faisal Baba, Chairman of the affected workers who now address themselves collectively as ”Unpaid Adamawa Civil Servants”, insisted that they were not chickening out.
“We had to change our initial plan especially after well-meaning people advised that in trying to solve a problem we should avoid anything that could cause a different kind of problem, but this does not mean that we are giving up,” Baba said.
Baba, who was flanked by other sack workers projecting their placards added, “We will continue to insist on being returned to the payroll of government and on being paid the salaries that we are owed.”
Armed with placards, the protesters told newsmen that the disruption by the police notwithstanding, they would press on with their demands.
The Newshawk recalls that the previous government, with Sen Jibrilla Bindow as governor, had employed a couple of thousands of people months before giving way to the present government in May last year, but the new government had promptly stopped the salaries of the said workers, and followed the measure up about two weeks ago with a policy statement that it did not recognise them as workers because they were not employed with due regard to procedure.
Responding to questions from journalists Monday afternoon, Police spokesman in the state, Suleiman Nguroje, said the police deployment was not meant to stop the planned protest but to protect all law-abiding citizens.
Nguroje a Deputy Superintendent (DSP) further that, “People have right to protest, but we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone goes about their business without fear of molestation,” he said, adding that the deployment was all about ensuring that there is no breakdown of law and order.