The Ogun State Government on Wednesday announced the payment of N1.5 billion as severance allowances for 663 former political office holders.
The government however failed to pay those who served at the local government, leaving hundreds to return home in disappointment.
The handover of cheques to beneficiaries was done by Governor Ibikunle Amosun at the Arcade Ground located at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
On arrival, most beneficiaries were in a jubilant mood. However, their joy was short-lived after the governor announced that only those who served at the state level in the last administration were paid.
Former local government chairmen and 236 ex-councilors, who could not hide their frustration, questioned the governor’s decision.
Mr. Amosun said he would look into their cases. He later left the venue while other officials continued the distribution of cheques.
Apparently not convinced by the governor’s assurance, the worried former political office holders, under the banner of Local Government Ex-Political Officer Holders, led by the coordinator, Keshinro Jamiu, trekked to Mr. Amosun’s office for further engagement.
The aggrieved politicians were further shocked when the governor emerged from his office, and warned them he may not pay them after all because of their “unruly behaviour”.
Mr. Keshinro, who spoke with journalists, said, “We came here that all of us are going to collect our cheques. And we have been struggling for this for the past six years. It was yesterday that we got the information and we came to today in happy mood that we are collecting.
“Some people might have heard me this morning where we sang and praised the governor on air for the information that we have heard that we should come here to collect money today. But with the information that they are giving us now, the said N1 billion for the payment of gratuities for the political class (was for) those that served between 2007 and 2010.
“And ordinarily the figure for those that served at the local government level for our set alone was N1.3 billion, even the money cannot even cover us not to talk about those that come after us.
“We later discovered that the governor had added N560 million. We now discovered that the additional N560 million was added because of those that come after us. They brought in the N560 million to accommodate them not even us that served before them.
“That is the reason why we are saying that we are not going to take this. We are ready for anything; we are ready to die here; they must give us our money. About 27 people have died at the local government level. We cannot continue like this. We are about 600 that were affected. We are here standing, waiting for our cheques. My advice is that the governor should look for additional money and make everybody happy .The governor should pay us,” he said.
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