From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Tragedy has again struked in Kogi as another staff of the State Ministry of Education, Haruna David, a deputy director in the quality control department of the ministry, Tuesday slumped and died in the office over alleged non payment of salaries. Few months ago, a director, who had been unable to feed his family and pay his bills, even after selling an uncompleted building, hanged himself. The government later paid some money to his family, including backlogs of his salaries, posthumously.
David according to a ministry source died on his way to the 12:00 noon mandatory clock-in for civil servants in the state, a practice that was introduced by the present administration.
Those who had interactions with David at work earlier on Tuesday said he was full of life in the morning.
He was however, said to have complained that in the last few weeks it has been difficult meeting his family obligations , adding that in the last three days he has had to beg from neighbours to feed his family with pap, at night.
David was last paid in February 2018 with half salary that could not pay his backlogs of debt he incurred before the payment of the 50 percent salary.
Until his death, the late David was said to be a hardworking person and diligent in his work, but died for non payment of salary, as he could not fulfilled his family financial obligations.
As at time of going to the press, some workers on the payroll of the state government were last paid in January, others in February but the worst hit on the none payment of salaries were those who have not been paid for upward of 27 months since the inception of Governor Bello’s administration.
A source also disclosed that some staff of the state tertiary institutions were paid their February salaries, with efforts ongoing to pay March salaries to workers of the various ministries.
A visit to the state ministry of education by our reporter shortly after the death revealed that staffers of the ministry were crying profusely and lamenting that who knows who will be the next victim of the untimely death occationed by the present predicament of non payment of salary.
The death of David according to a staff of the Ministry who wants to remain anonymous, said deaths of civil servants in the state owing to delayed salary payment is becoming a source of great concerned with a call on government to help ameliorate the plight of the workers.
Meanwhile, the State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Onuh Edoka said the union has directed one of their members to investigate the cause of the death before the leadership of the union can make their position known.