Mayhem In Kogi As Thugs Attack Labour Leaders Over Rejection Of Percentage Payment

From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

Following the release of July allocation from the federal government directly to the 774 local government councils  across the country, staffers of the 21 council areas in Kogi are demanding full payment against the percentage payment proposed by government.

The rejection of the percentage payment is currently causing mayhem in some of the local governments in the state as the development had led to serious rift between the labour leaders and authorities of the local council areas.

On Tuesday Hoodlums suspected to be political thugs  attacked Adavi local government  branch of NULGE/Medical and Health Workers Union leaving many with various degree of injuries .

The union’s congress that was earlier scheduled to hold  on Tuesday was aimed at discussing their non- payment of salary despite the release of allocation to the council , but was  abruptly  disrupted by the alleged orders of Adavi Local Government Administrator, Hon. Joseph Salami.

The  thugs who were armed with sticks and horse whips caused injuries to some union leaders  including the Adavi branch NULGE Chairman.

Speaking on the incident, the Adavi NULGE chairman, Comrade Muhammed Yakubu Isah described the attack as very embarrassing, saying  the union had passed a circular to suspend the congress in line with the local government administrator’s directive at the time of the attack.

Comrade Muhammed who said the union has reported the matter at the Adavi Divisional Police called on those in position of authority to govern  with the fear of God.

He added that the union meant no  harm as they have the right to converge to discuss their welfare.

In a related development, the staffers of Okehi Local Government  were on Monday chased out of their offices by attackers suspected to be political thugs.

The attackers who were also armed with dangerous weapons such as guns, cutlasses and sticks, shot sporadically amidst their shouting orders like, “where are those NULGE people” and “which non-sense congress in the secretariat.”

The workers who were then gathering to hold a congress for routine briefing by their leaders fled through various directions, with some sustaining injuries.

Speaking on the incident, both the Okehi local government NULGE branch chairman, comrade Yakubu Suleiman Achimogu and his Medical /Health workers union counterpart, Comrade Ohuei Emmanuel, expressed shock over the unwarranted attack and disruption of a peaceful congress organized to brief workers who are anxious to know of issues relating to payment of their salaries.

The union leaders disclosed that some of their executives have gone into hiding as a result of threats by the attackers to visit their individual home.

In a joint statement earlier issued on 3rd July, 2019 by Kogi Central Branch Union Forum and signed by the  forum chairman of NULGE, NUT, NASU, MHWUN, NANNM and NUP, the forum  thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for granting local governments financial autonomy

They  also expressed appreciation to governor Yahaya Bello for appending his approval to the NFIU directives.

The statement while calling for strict adherence to the NFIU guidelines, stressed the need to henceforth accord workers monthly salaries and allowances top priority.

The forum however,  advocated for 100 per cent  payment of their salaries and urged the Director of Local Government (DLGs) and Treasurers not to betray the welfare of workers.