From Everest Ezihe, Owerri
The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Imo State chapter, said they have received with shock and sadness the purported suspension of her Chairman, Barrister Vivian Ottih from the Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) and condemned the action as flagrant abuse of civil service rules.
Ottih, a senior staff of the state government owned radio and television media is said to be on suspension for allegedly complaining about the delay in the payment of her salaries and that of other workers of the corporation for three months running.
Ottih, who only just had a baby, is alleged to have granted a press conference, wherein she complained bitterly about the non- payment of her salary and that of other workers since February, 2020.
NAWOJ in a press statement issued in Owerri and signed by Messrs Shirley Munonye and Angela Nkwo-Akpuolu, the organization’s Vice Chairman and Secretary respectively said that it feels deeply pained that their Chairman is being disparaged all over the State, simply because she sought the assistance of her brother, an appointee of the State Government as she revealed her burden on trust.
They expressed dismay that some persons including Journalists used her personal letter to a brother in government as a news item, without her permission.
According to them “at no point did Ottih address a press conference nor broke the rules of engagement as a staff of IBC.
“Women no doubt, put in enormous efforts in the discharge of their duties, coupled with the demands of family, especially as they work thrice as much to balance probably their inefficiencies,” they stated.
They further lamented that “they refused to keep quiet and watch our member slip into depression nor to commit suicide, over how she fends for her family, especially in this trying season occasioned by the effects of Covid 19,” they lamented.
They further pointed out that Ottih, who through sterling qualities has distinguished herself and the State NAWOJ and therefore deserves better, as they view this act of suspension as a gross violation of her fundamental rights as a woman.
They also noted that it is public knowledge that pregnancy, child birth, and nursing come with attendant challenges, which is very trying for women Journalists.
They passionately appealed to the State Ministry of Information and the management of Imo Broadcasting Corporation to recall the purported suspension, pay her salary, and restate her to her rightful position.
Further, they stated the need for good working conditions for all their members and by extension, women working in the State Government owned establishments.