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May Day: Kogi civil servants threaten protest over Yahaya Bello’s refusal to pay salaries

Civil servants in Kogi State have threatened to take to the streets very soon if Governor Yahaya Bello refused to pay up workers’ salaries as well as other entitlements that he is owing them.

The move of the impending street demonstration over non-salary payment was dropped on Wednesday in Lokoja by the state chairman of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Onuh Edoka, while addressing the members during this year’s May Day.

Comrade Edoka stated that the organised labour in the state has been quite, but will be moved to hit the streets to press home for the payments of their legitimate earnings, which the government has refused to pay despite exploring all avenues to that effect.

He said the government should not misconstrue their intention to mean the workers have been compromised or sponsored by the time they hint the streets over the non payment of salaries and other emoluments of workers.

Comrade Edoka hinted further that as an election year, the government should thread softly since they are among critical stakeholders that can decide who become the next governor of the state, if independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will allow votes to counts.

“We are no politicians, if INEC allows our votes to count; we can decide who becomes the governor of this state. INEC should allow our votes to count so that we can decide who can become the next governor,” he said.

The state organised labour leader, who noted that workers are the engine room of any administration, said the state government is owing them arrears of salary between 7 to 30 months , depending on the period a worker is cleared, urging the present administration to mend fences with all sectors for unity of purpose to be enthroned .

However, the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Folashade Arike Ayoade, maintained that the state is only owing the “genuine workers” four months salary arrears, and efforts are on to pay up soonest.

The governor, therefore, stated that his administration is committed to implement the new minimum wage for workers in the state, saying that the state government will soon meet you with the representatives of organised workers where the modality for the payments of the new wage regime will be worked out.

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