Adamawa councils begin strike over non-payment of salaries
• Ebonyi to probe alleged extortion of retirees
The 21 local councils in Adamawa State have begun an indefinite strike over the non-payment of five-month salary arrears four years leave grant and exclusion of four councils from Federal Government’s N15 billion bailout funds.
The four local councils are: Demsa, Hong, Shelleng and Mubi-South. No reasons were given for their exclusion from the bailout largesse.
State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Comrade Hamman Jumba Gatugel, in a statement said several meetings with government officials ended in deadlock.
“We urged all our members in the 21 councils to embark on indefinite strike until the state government hears again from the leadership of our great union,” he said.
The statement added that the outstanding leave grants were for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The Guardian checks revealed that the union decided to begin the strike due to comments credited to chief of staff to the governor, Abdullaraman Abba Jimeta.
He was said to have told one of the NULGE officials that since teachers are being paid, other council workers can go on strike if they wish to do so.
Jimeta’s comments may not be unconnected with a recent comment by the state chairman of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) Comrade Rodney Nathan, who said teachers in the state would not be part of the protests against councils’ autonomy.
However, Commissioner for Finance, Mahmud Sali Yunusa, did not pick his calls or reply text messages sent to him on how much the state disbursed from the bailout fund and Paris Club refund.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had recently arrested him for questioning over alleged financial misappropriation.
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi yesterday ordered the immediate probe of officials of the audit department who were allegedly involved in the extortion of some retirees in the state.
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