Elections are around the corner in Kogi State and the governor and his camp are now mellowing down especially over salaries. This is as the state government has said that though those at the apex might have degressed as youths who want to get result immediately nobody is above mistake.
Governor Yahaya Bello who was represented by the Chief of Staff ( CoS ), Edward Onoja, stated in Lokoja the Confluence state capital, during the seventh Quadrennial State Congress, at Kefas Multi purpose hall.
The CoS who looked sober while addressing the state workers also disclosed that the over years journey of the present administration has not been all that smooth, but quickly assured workers on the speedy conclusion of the state government’s arrangements to offset the arrears of salaries owed.
On insecurity, Bello disclosed that his administration needed a new drive of combating insecurity in the country and that has reduced kidnapping and other vices drastically, adding that of all the Governors that have served in Kogi State non of them has tackled insecurity as the present administration.
He equally disclosed that the Labour Leaders has called for the proscription and Bello is looking at its short and long term and in no distance time it will be for the betterment of all.
He agreed that paying workers in percentage do not augur well but quickly added that what Governor Yahaya Bello led administration is doing is to improve on the percentage rather than going down.
Also on the face off between the Executive and Judiciary, he disclosed that the matter has been substantially taken care of, as he called on the Judiciary Staff to call off the industrial action , adding that JUSUN all over the country met with Governor Yahaya Bello and decided that Kogi JUSUN should comply with the government table payment of salaries and collect their five months salaries that is waiting for them .
Bello equally solicited for their partnership, prayers and support in the course of running the affairs of the state.
Speaking earlier, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) , state chairman Onuh Edoka said Kogi State Government is owing workers between eight to 38 months salaries.
NLC said this was in spite of the over 2N00 billion so far collected as monthly allocations and several bailouts and loans collected.
Organised Labour in the state said due to non payment of salaries, workers have been turned to beggars, with some suffering from various ailments which have resulted in several deaths. Worst hit among the workers, NLC said, are local
government staff, some of who are owed over 52 months while “those paid were paid in miserable percentages while some pensioners are also groping in hunger and starvation.”
The organised labour pleaded with the state
government to make monthly payment of salaries a priority. They also appealed to government to cash- back the series of promotions of civil servants in the state.
Onuh who was reelected to man the state Congress affair for a second term also disclosed that the state government has most of the workers demands on their hands, adding that the new Exco shall quickly advice the state government to look into all the demands and requests of the workers of kogi state on time so that together they would find a lasting solution to it. And they will not blame labour if otherwise they do not do them.
“I want to finally say we can’t take any action on our own. Let kogi workers stop this idea of sitting in their offices and at home and continue to blame labour leaders as if a tree can make a forest.
It is a free world you have elected us today, it is a free world all of us are joining in the struggle for our today’s better in the hands of our oppressors. And for that if we must get our freedom from our oppressors called government, then we should watch out and work together to ensure that labour actions worked.”
Onuh Edoka also assured kogi state workers that the present administration of labour will ensure that they maintained a good relationship with the government so that the right of kogi state workers will be preserved.
“We will continue to be the voice of the voiceless and we will continue to be the sitting workers in the state. This is my prayer that God Almighty will not allow us to compromise election and we will not do anything to jeopardise our intergrity. We shall ensure the provisions of workers in the state are delivered.