- These are sad times for workers in Kogi state
- The state government has refused to pay workers in the state their wages according to the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)
- The workers are seeking the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue
The leadership of the organised labour in Kogi state has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene over the issue non-payment of salaries by the state government.
According to the workers, the issue has resulted to the deaths of many workers in the state.
Recently, a director in the Kogi state civil service, Edward Soje committed suic*de by hanging himself on a tree in Lokoja, the state capital.
Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has not had it easy with the labour unions in the state.
The dangling body of Soje was found on a tree behind the mammy market at the Maigumeri barracks, the Nigeria Army Command Record in Lokoja.
The 54-year-old civil servant decided to take his life barely 10 days after his wife of 17 years gave birth to a set of male triplets in a private hospital in Abuja. The couple had been childless before then.
Soje, a Grade Level 16 Officer in the Kogi state Teaching Service Commission, was being owed 11 months’ salary arrears as at the time he took his life.
The secretaries of the state chapters of the NLC, Comrade Olakunle Faniyi, Trade Union Congress, James Kolawole and their Joint Public Service Negotiating Council counterpart, Comrade Isa Abubakar made the appeal in a statement issued in Lokoja.
They stated that their earlier call on the federal government to treat Kogi workers as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and send relief materials to them was in view of the “deplorable situation” of the workers as a result of non-payment of their salaries for three to 22 months.
They said the recent su*cide incident of Soje, was a fresh reminder of the hardship the workers were going through.
“The decision taken by the civil servant to end his life in such a tragic way after he had sold all the property he laboured for due to non-payment of his salaries for eleven months is a true reflection of the agony Kogi workers are going through in the hands of Yahaya Bello administration,” the organized labour said.
They also chided the government for committing the scarce resources of the state in buying over 143 pages of a national newspaper “to mislead the reading public that his government is not owing salaries of civil servants.”
Onlinenigera.com had reported earlier that Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West, had declared his readiness to fight to a standstill the government of his state over salaries of workers.
In tweets late on Friday, July 14, Senator Melaye said the battle for workers’ salaries is a ‘no retreat, no surrender’ one.
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