Nine members of staff of the Kogi State Transport Company Ltd, out of a total of 142, who were directed by the government to proceed on compulsory leave without pay since 2011, have died due to hardship, hunger and lack of money for medical attention.
The company had, on June 30, 2011, via a circular, directed all its members of staff to immediately proceed on compulsory leave without pay, and has not recalled or paid them their severance benefits, four years after.
A statement issued in Lokoja on Sunday by two of the colleagues of the deceased workers, Ndakwo Mohammed and Anate Audu, said that many of the surviving 140 workers were also in life-threatening situations due to poverty-related conditions.
According to the statement, the workers are currently facing untold hardship and deteriorating health conditions due to lack of money to feed their families, and cannot pay their children’s school fees and pay for medical treatment.
It added that most of the workers, who are now abandoned and forgotten by the state government, had served the government for between 10 to 23 years.
The statement reads: “Many of us have been ejected out of our houses and our children chased out of schools due to our inability to pay rents and schools fees,” the statement said.
“All efforts to seek redress through the intervention of the Kogi State House of Assembly and several letters to the state governor, Capt Idris Wada, have proved abortive.’’
The workers’ spokesmen, therefore, appealed to the state government to look into their issue urgently, with a view to taking a definite position that would put an end to their unbearable, pathetic plight.