It said this was owing to the non-payment of salaries by the state government, which has resulted to so many deaths.
The Secretaries of the state chapters of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Olakunle Faniyi, Trade Union Congress, James Kolawole and their Joint Public Service Negotiating Council counterpart, Comrade Isa Abubakar made the appeal in a statement issued to DAILYPOST in Lokoja on Sunday.
The Organised Labour said their earlier call on the Federal Government to treat Kogi workers as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and send relief materials to them was borne out of the pitiable situation of the workers as a result of non-payment of their salaries between a period of three to twenty-two months.
According to the Organised Labour, a sad and unfortunate case of suicide committed by Mr Edward Soje, a Director with the Kogi State Teaching Service Commission, is a fresh reference of the untold hardship the workers of the state were going through in the hands of Yahaya Bello-led administration.
The labour maintained that the decision taken by the civil servant to end his life in such a tragic way after he had sold all the property he laboured for due to non-payment of his salaries for eleven months was a true reflection of the agony Kogi workers were going through in the hands of Yahaya Bello administration.
“It is, therefore, unfortunate and ridiculous that the government which has caused monumental pains to the civil servants and their relations could commit the very scarce resources of the state in buying over 143 pages (so far) of the Leadership newspaper of October 19th and 20th 2017 editions to mislead the reading public that his government is not owing salaries of civil servants.
“Aside the fact that the majority of our workers have salary arrears of between three to twenty-two months, the state government under Yahaya Bello has further endangered the lives of the people through the bogus money it has published against people’s name as salaries and wages paid to them.
“The security implication of this very wrong step of Governor Yahaya Bello is that criminals could get hold of this document and begin to trace the very workers whose names government has published for harm.
“In a country where majority of people profess to be Muslims and Christians, it is not out of place for government officials to allow the dictates of these religions to reflect in their actions.
“Going by the Holy Bible, the book of Revelation chapter 21 v. 8, the Almighty God says that all liars shall have their path in the lake of fire and also in the Holy Quran, Surah An-nur chapter 24 v. 8 states that the curse of Allah be on him if he is one of the liars.
“As organised labour, we therefore find it difficult to place the faith of these people who are constantly feeding the public with lies in order to deceive when the truth of the matter is that Kogi State civil servants and pensioners are dying of starvation and treatable diseases, walking the street of Lokoja as beggars because their salaries and allowances have not been paid for a period of three to twenty-two months by the government of Yahaya Bello.
“Once again, the Organised Labour wish to let the reading public know that the leadership of NLC, TUC and JPSNC in the state are not on ego trip with the government neither are we political civil servants but only calling the attention of the government to the deplorable situation of civil servants because of non-payment of salaries and allowances.
“Since our government wants to be transparent now by publishing names of workers they have paid, let them also go ahead and publish the following in details:
1. the total amount of money paid as salary in the last month of Governor Wada’s administration i.e wage bill of September, 2015.
2. the wage bill of the state workers in July 2017.
3. the total allocation received by the state from January 2016 to September 2017.
4. the total amount as bail out as well as Paris Club refund.
5. the names of workers paid and amount on monthly basis from October 2015 to July 2017.
6. the names of cleared but not paid workers and amount due to them on monthly from October 2016 to July 2017
7. the names of pensioners paid on monthly from October 2015 to July.
8. the names of pensioners not paid but cleared on monthly basis from October 2016 to July 2017.
“All the above names should include amount due to them on monthly basis. It is only then that people of the state will have the opportunity to do their calculations and judge whether the amount paid as salaries is commensurate with what the state government got from Federal government.
“It should be noted therefore that in the posers to government, we have left out all the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collected from January 2016 to September 2017.
“In spite of all these, the organised labour is still willing to engage the government on genuine negotiation that will bring the current impasse to amicable resolution.
“Meanwhile, we use this medium to thank the ever resolute civil servants for their faith and belief in the leadership of the organised labour by complying 100% with the directive to stay away from government offices and facilities where they work without pay. We pray for the peaceful repose of the souls Mr Edward Soje and many others that have died from the non-payment of salary-related issues in the Kogi State. The strike continues and it is indefinite.”
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