This year’s Eid-El-Fitri celebration did not go as planned for many workers in Kogi State as they have lamented the non-payment of their salaries by the state government.
Some of the workers, who spoke with joirnalists on Monday, said their hopes of getting their salaries were dashed with the Governor Yaya Bello-led government showing no commitment to paying them.
The aggrieved workers lambasted the Yahaya Bello’s government for allowing the Muslim faithful to celebrate Sallah on empty stomachs
Despite the poor living condition of workers in his state, Bello last Wednesday picked N100 million Expression of Interest and nomination forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his bid to vie for the party’s presidential ticket ahead of 2023 election
A civil servant simply identified as Abduallhi said: “After one month of Ramadan fast, look at us now, we are celebrating Sallah without a penny in our pocket. I can’t buy a single cup of garri for my family to feed this festive season.
“We all thought the Governor will do the needful, most especially now that he is eyeing the number one sit in Nigeria. But look at Kogi workers now, nothing to write home about. We are now beggars. What a shameful time for us all to experience this hardship under the present administration.”
Also speaking, another civil servant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “This is the worst Sallah I will be experiencing in my life. No food, nothing. The cost of food stuff in the market is very high and if you go out there to buy some foodstuff, you will come back home with little.
“If the Governor had paid us our salary, the suffering would have reduced. I heard the Government will pay after Sallah. To me, it is medicine after death.”
Similarly, a widow with seven children, who has been working with the Kogi State Civil Service, also said, “Why is it that they enjoy inflicting pains on the poor masses? I am a widow with seven children. I don’t know what to do.
“My salary is in percentage. I am no longer complaining because that is where we have found ourselves. They should pay me my percentage salary. I heard our Governor bought the APC nomination form for N100m. That money will go a long way in feeding many Kogi workers during this Sallah. But look at us, we are suffering and smiling with an empty stomach”.
The state government has yet to react the workers’ claims.
Bello earlier in his Workers’ Day speech on May 1st, 2022, kept mum on when April salary will be paid to workers in the state.
“We are doing our best to overcome the percentage salary payments which currently persist at Local Government levels and which is traceable to the challenges associated with the collision between low government inflow and a heavy wage bill,” he had said.