The protesters stormed the Iwe-Iroyin Press Centre, Abeokuta with placards.
Hundreds of former political appointees under the administration of former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel, on Monday protested over alleged non-payment of their salary arrears and severance allowances two years after the resumption of the present administration in the state.
The protesters, members of the Conference of Local Government Ex-Political Office Holders stormed the Iwe-Iroyin Press Centre, Abeokuta, with placards with various inscriptions which included “Amosun please pay us our money, it’s our right;” “Pay us our legal and statutory benefits;” “Ogun is the only state yet to pay;” and “Our members are dying, 10 people have died.”
Addressing a press conference over the issue, the conference chairman, Farouk Akintunde, accompanied by other aggrieved members said, the government owes them about N2.3billion which covers the period between 2007 and 2010.
“We are compelled by circumstances to be here to avail the society of our anger and sadness over the reactions of the present administration to our plight. We are ex-political office holders at various local councils of Ogun State having served at various capacities between 2007 to 2010,” Mr. Akintunde told journalists.
He lamented that, it is precisely two years, four months that they left office with a lot of debt owed them by the present government ranging from salary arrears, furniture allowances, leave bonus and severance gratuities by various councils they had once served.
“It is important to state it that all these monies in question are statutory provided for by the law of the state and that of the nation. We have written almost 50 series of letters (sic) of plea to the governor to assuage him of our predicament. It is important to state here that all the letters have not been acknowledge up till date.”
The protesters also said that as part of measures to get their problems resolved, they have written and met the Alake of Egbaland and the Director of State Security Services (SSS) to intervene.
“The Amosun-led administration have also displayed lack of respect to the law of the land because even when the Senate Committee on Local Government Matters waded into this issue, recommending the immediate settlement of those legitimate entitlement being owed us, the government remained adamant not to pay us on the excuse that by so doing they will be empowering us to fight his administration,” the protesters said through their leader.
However, investigations by PREMIUM TIMES revealed that, the state government had earlier through a circular reference number CM 247/voll111/54 directed all local governments to offset the controversial outstanding allowances through their Internal Generated Revenue (IGR).
The circular directed to all local government chairmen dated March 12 has the heading ‘Settlement of The Entitlements of Former Political Office Holders’ and was signed by “Mrs. G.O Olubiyi for Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.”
“I am directed by the Hon. Commissioner to request you to determine what your local government is owing the past political functionaries and forward same to the Ministry for records,” the circular stated.
“Further to the above, I am to enjoin you to settle these outstanding gradually from your respective IGR.”