By Anayo Okoli

UMUAHIA—ABIA State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Rt. Hon. Chris Enweremadu, has alleged that an unnamed powerful syndicate in the state planted ghost workers in the Local Government system and try to arm twist the government to continue to pay them.

According to Enweremadu, some people from Aba North, Aba South and Umuahia North have refused to show up for the biometric exercise which was meant to fish out ghost workers.

According to him, these elements were the people who use the media to blackmail the government, accusing them of not paying council workers just to achieve political points.

He said that such people have formed themselves into a pressure group to blackmail the government, but warned that government would not succumb to their intimidation.

Addressing journalists yesterday, in his office, the commissioner warned that very soon all those involved in fraud in the system would be exposed.

Enweremadu said the council workers have been paid almost up to date, saying by the end of this month, the council workers would be owed only one month. He said those still complaining of backlog of arrears were the ghost workers who don’t want to be captured in the biometric verification process.

On the issue of Abia State Polytechnic where the workers are also being owned many months salaries, the Commissioner said the problem was that the institution has a “rotten management”.

“Abia poly generates about N1.2 billion from IGR. But the institution has over 50 gatemen, over 50 workers in the canteen and over 50 people in healthcare centre. 25 lecturers have wage bill over N450, 000 each. They have run the place aground”, Enweremadu said.

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