Governor Yahaya Bello
The National Youth Coordinator of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Usman Okai Austin, has urged the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello to pay workers their remunerations without delay.
Austin, who is the spokesperson of Wada/Aro Campaign Council, said the fasting period was not a time to slash or withhold workers’ salaries because that will be “tantamount to wickedness and inhumane.”
Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, Austin wondered why Bello was planning to pay workers half salaries when there is no established case of COVID-19 in the State.
According to Austin: “Since there is no case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Kogi State resulting in stiff lockdown, one wonders why Bello is planning to pay workers half salary,” stressing that such is “criminal and extortion.”
Austin noted that before the 2019 November election, Yahaya Bello promised that percentage payments or owing workers that were prevalent in the entire State would stop “but today he is reinventing the same ignoble practice.”
The PDP Youth Leader advised labour leaders in the state to immediately seek national support should the governor perfect his plans and resort to intimidation and harassment.
He enjoined them not to be compromised by the Governor who is known throughout the country for owing workers.
The PDP youth leader wondered why the governor who is a Muslim should resort to depriving people their entitlements in a sacred month of Moslem fasting that encourages ZAKAT.
He challenged Governor Bello to declare Kogi workers’ wage bill and stop claiming allocation shortfall as a reason for non or part payment.
“It is worthy of note that other state governments are paying complete and regular salaries received from the same national allocation.
“The Kogi State governor who spent months in a protracted workers’ screening exercise upon assuming office in 2016, is expected to have stabilized the state workforce and wage bill by now to ease regular salary payments.
“Kogi stands as a state in the country with the highest number of mineral resources with the capacity to pay her workers regularly from Internally Generated Revenues. However, these gold-mine opportunities in the state are not effectively tapped into by the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello,” he said.