Wild Protests Over 6 Months Unpaid Salaries Is Uncalled For---Okehi LGA Chairman
The Okehi local Government Chairman, Hon. Hassan Yusuf has described the protest staged by the staff of his council over unpaid salaries as political motivated and a ploy to paint his administration in bad limelight to the public.
The Chairman made his position known through his personal assistant, Mallam Ajinomoh Murtala when our correspondent put a call to him to know the reasons why workers took to the street. Hassan added that his administration has been trying its best only that the workers were not considerate enough to reason with him on the challenges facing his administration warranting seven month unpaid full salaries.
He noted that the seven month unpaid salaries were not his making as he inherited it. Explaining further, Chairman said that the staff salaries was not what it used to be as it has risen to a level that the current federal allocation could not cater for full payment anymore.
The Council boss buttressed that during the administration of Hon. Puffy, former chairman of Okehi local Government, over 600 people were employed. These people were employed as Junior Workers then and years after; some of them have gotten promotion and move to senior cadre.
This has posed serious challenge to my administration in recent time as more funds were needed for servicing workers salaries. This is why full salaries payment becomes difficult, he said.
In the same vein, comrade A.I Onumoh the Union Chairman of Okehi local government workers speaking with our reporter too, has described the action of the chairman as indirect killing which everyone must condemn in strong term.
He said it sounds unwise for the council Chairman to consider workers as not reasonable enough. Seven months unpaid salaries were owed workers and efforts made over the time for the full payment have not yielded fruitful result.
The workers have no option than to close the secretariat, he said. Comdrade Onumoh debunked the claims that 600 workers employed by Hon. Puffy led to over bloated workers salaries nothing that these people were sacked by him (council Chairman) last year without reinstatement till date despite all plea.
He said in the real sense, the council supposed not to run short of fund for servicing workers' salaries and wonder why he couldn't pay.
He buttressed that when the issue of unpaid salaries began to linger, the stakeholders of the local government had understanding that the allocation for the month of January should be used to pay full salaries of workers' from grade level 1-6 and that of political officer holders while those from 7 and above gets theirs in February.
The agreement was implemented in January and when February allocation was received, the Chairman of the council Hon. Hassan Yusuf made U-turn that he would not go by that decision anymore noting that only 35% of the salaries should be paid to all workers. This was why the workers went on peaceful demonstration to press for full payment of workers' salaries which thereafter brought about the closure of the council secretariat, he explained.
The union chairman noted that workers in the council have not been finding it easy as many of them could not pay their children's school fees due to seven month unpaid salaries.
He added that supporters of the chairman in the community equally staged a protest to the secretariat of Okehi Local Government yesterday to call for its reopening and also to give impression to the public that the council boss is doing well.
When they came to the secretariat, they forceful open the council gate, destroyed local government properties, injure staff that came to check whether the secretariat will be open for work. These Thugs went away with motor bike they met in the council secretariat, Nulge Chairman said.