BY BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO, Lokoja
Aggrieved workers of Yagba East Local Government area of Kogi State have laid siege to the Local Government secretariat in Isanlu since Monday, preventing the Chairman, Alhaji Funsho Ibrahim from entering his office .
The aggrieved workers who have been on protest have vowed not to allow the chairman return to office until there is a strong assurance that their January salary will be paid in full.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that the protest which started peacefully on Monday turned violent on Tuesday when the chairman, Funsho Ibrahim called security operatives to disband the protesting workers; a development that angered the workers who invaded his office and chased him out of the secretariat.
A source said the embattled Chairman having perceived that the workers could not be pacified or intimidated by the security operatives drafted to the secretariat scampered into the bush leaving his vehicle behind.
The workers on Wednesday took the protest around Isanlu town, the headquarters of the Local Government, visiting the house of Chief Jide Omokore, the political leader of the axis who was said to have nominated the chairman for the position.
The protest also continued on Thursday and yesterday as the workers continued to burn tyres in front of the local government secretariat, vowing not to stop until the chairman issues a word that their January salary and other months will henceforth be paid in full.
One of the workers who spoke with Saturday Vanguard on ground of anonymity said, “We have to resort to this because the chairman is an arrogant man that will not see reasons with us. The salary of his aides and councilors are being paid in full, but can you believe that since May last year when he resumed office, we have been collecting half salary.
“Also, he has stopped promotion saying that it’s only on grounds of work recognition that one can be promoted and not by years of service. He has also recalled all workers who are in school on study leave saying that the Local government is not a charity organization. But he has failed to pay us in full or honour the minimum wage. We have been suffering in silence.”
The source also stated that the chairman who has not initiated any project since he assume office has now arrested the NULGE chairman and other executives on Thursday night, who spear headed the protest and has engage thugs to harass other workers from continuing with the protest.
He however said the protest will continue next week until their demands for their legitimate wages are paid in full saying some of them have been collecting less than N10, 000 naira has monthly take home pay since the introduction of the half salary.