From Tom Garba, Yola
Local Government workers in Adamawa have threatened to down-tool over non-payment of their December 2015 and January 2016 salaries.
The workers who stormed the office of the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mustapha Barkindo, said their patience was fast running out and that it was high time government start treating them like their counterparts – state workers – who get their salaries as at when due.
Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Dauda Maina, that of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Hammanjumba Gatigel; and that of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Comrade Jeremiah Ngyakwar who spoke at the commissioner’s office said their members who draw their salaries from the local government level were angry with government over the two-month delay.
“Workers are hungry, they will rise against this government if nothing is done. Adamawa is a civil servant state and 75 per cent of the civil servants are local government staff under NULGE, NUT and MHWUN who deserve to be attended to before it is too late”, Maina said.
Gatigel of the NULGE said it was high time the state government stopped discriminating between state and local government workers.
“We should be getting our salary with state workers at the same time; we go to the same markets”, Gatigel said.
He noted that some NULGE members missed out in the recent screening of workers and needed to be considered.
On his part, Ngyakwar of MHWUN said his members were owed salaries of November, December and January.
Ngyakwar urged the state governor to intervene promptly before the health sector in the rural areas of the state grind to a halt.
Responding, Barkindo called for patience, adding that government was doing everything possible to address the plight of the council workers.
“We are having sleepless nights over your problem. We are discussing with a bank to secure loan. We are also talking with the state House of Assembly to address the current 109 per cent deduction of council funds to 50 or 60 per cent”, Barkindo said.