According to Punch Metro, protesting workers in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State locked up the council chairman, Mr. Rabo Sani, for over three hours to press for the payment of their outstanding September salary.
The workers had accused the council boss of exposing them to unnecessary hardship with his consistent absence from office.
Investigations by Northern City News on Thursday revealed that an earlier attempt by the soldiers from the 123 Special Forces Army Barracks, Doma, to mediate was rebuffed as the workers refused to listen to entreaties while the three-hour standoff lasted.
When calm was restored, the council boss while addressing the aggrieved workers attributed the problem to the N100m liabilities left behind by his predecessor.
He also explained that part of the liability was due to the fact that the council was over-staffed.
Sani said, “With the commencement of local government autonomy, our problems surface because what we normally do before the autonomy was to augment salaries of few councils with those with less financial burden.
“From June, July and August, we have to augment our salary with N28m from Value Added Tax and the committee on Local Government forbid us to augment salary from VAT and insisted that VAT was meant for project.”
He further revealed that the council paid money for the installation of street lights, over N30m for a 1km road leading to the Andoma’s palace while another 300m road project was ongoing.
For the month of August, he said the local government suffered a shortfall of N9.2m which affected the payment of the salary for September.
Responding to a question from reporters on the way out of the crisis, he appeared to be at his wits end.
He said he approached a bank to collect an overdraft but the bank manager told him that the branch could not provide any facility above N20m without approval from headquarters.