BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
LAGOS—HUNDREDS of former political office holders from various councils in Lagos, yesterday, stormed the state House of Assembly, Alausa, demanding immediate payment of their nine years salaries and allowances amounting to at least N700 million.
The House of Assembly, had earlier at its plenary session ordered the payment of outstanding salaries and allowances of former political office holders of the 20 Local Government Areas, LGAs, and 37 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs, in the state.
The protesters, who gathered in front of the Assembly complex, urged members to prevail on government to release the money owed them.
Mr.Tijani Ojo, alias, “Ota”, former Secretary to Local Government, Odi-Olowo LGA, who led the protesters, claimed they were being deceived by both the legislators and the executive arms on the matter, as there was no concrete effort to pay the money in spite of several appeals to both arms of government.
According to Ojo, “We served Lagos State meritoriously to sustain the controversial 57 local governments, despite the withholding of the monthly allocations by the Federal Government.
“During the period we sacrificed for party members to sustain the councils at the trying periods.
“We did not collect salaries for 23 months and they only paid for six months. But with many appeals from our leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who promised that after the payment of the next tranche of the withheld allocation we would be paid our outstanding salaries and allowances amounting to over N700 million for 753 former political officers.
“We have written several appeal letters to the lawmakers and Governor Fashola without positive response. They were just giving us empty promises, hence we decided to take our destiny in our hands by taking the protest to Asiwaju’s residence on Democracy day.
“We will not leave the place until he meets our demands. Some of our members have died in the course of this struggle. This is eight years after, we have explored all avenues, engaged in dialogues, met party leaders, governor, speaker all to no avail.”