Imminent strike is said to be looming in 18 states following the inability of some state government to pay their workforce for some months.
The General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said that the strike has started in Plateau State, adding that a similar exercise will begin in Cross River State and others on Monday.
The states owing salaries or pensions are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Cross River, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers and Zamfara states.
However, Adamawa, Anambra, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Edo, the FCT, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto and Taraba are not indebted to their workers.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that a senior Civil Servant identified as Ojo Owolabi attempted to commit suicide in Obokun Local Government Area of the State by drinking insecticide.
Owolabi was said to have attempted suicide because of his inability to cater for his family as civil servants in the State are being owed seven months salary.
The incident which occurred at Owolabi’s residence last Saturday in Obokun Local Government Area of the State threw residents into a state of confusion.
It was gathered from a source closed to Owolabi that he wanted to take his life because he got frustrated over his inability to cater for his family.
The source affirmed, “Baba Ibeji, Owolabi, drank herbicide. He was frustrated because he has been unable to feed himself and other members of his family.
“You are aware that the state government has not paid workers for some months now. I think he just lost hope and decided to take his life by drinking Gramoxone.
It was learnt that Owolabi’s wife and children have moved out of the house after he could not meet their needs.
In a telephone chat with the Street Journal, The National Secretary of Labour Party, Kayode Ajulo condemned the governors who failed to pay salaries to their workers, stressing that such individuals have failed as political office holders.
Ajulo who said his party would soon strongly come out with a position on the matter, noted that ”it is an act of wickedness for any state governor to owe his workers. He further condemned the governors who blamed the federal government for their inability to pay salaries. He said the primary responsibility of any government was the welfare of its workers, stressing that many governors were owing their workers because of mismanagement of scarce resources at their disposal.
According to the youthful legal practitioner, many governors knew they were owing their workers while they were spending extravagantly during the last electoral campaigns. He lamented the act of callousness exhibited by the governors by owing civil servants up to six, seven months without showing any sign of remorse.
”A labourer deserves his wage”, he said, adding that his party would do everything humanly possible to compel the debtor governors to pay before leaving office.