An­gry LG work­ers chase away Benue law­mak­ers

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - From Hope Abah, Makurdi

An­gry lo­cal govern­ment work­ers in Benue State yes­ter­day chased away mem­bers of the state House of As­sem­bly who had vis­ited head­quar­ters of the 23 coun­cil ar­eas to per­form their leg­isla­tive du­ties.

Daily Trust re­ports that the law­mak­ers had dur­ing ple­nary ses­sion last week in­sisted that they have the con­sti­tu­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity to make laws, in­ves­ti­gate any mat­ter and carry out over­sight func­tions on the ver­i­fi­ca­tion ex­er­cise of LG staff.

The idea was mooted fol­low­ing the hues and cries of work­ers at the grass­roots, who were sub­jected to what they called ‘”need­less and stress­ful bio­met­ric ex­er­cise” by the state govern­ment in or­der to de­tect ghost work­ers.

The aim, ac­cord­ing to sources, was to pave way for the dis­burse­ment of the bailout fund the govern­ment re­ceived from the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria (CBN).

Our cor­re­spon­dent gath­ered that the work­ers ve­he­mently re­sisted the law­mak­ers yes­ter­day, with some phys­i­cally protest­ing while oth­ers stayed away from the venue of the ex­er­cise.

Although, none of the work­ers agreed to speak with their names on print, those who spoke said it was one ex­er­cise too many by the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) govern­ment in the state.

Ef­fort to speak with the Nige­ria Union of Lo­cal Govern­ment Em­ploy­ees (NULGE) chair­man in the state was not fruit­ful at the time of this report, but the work­ers hinted that they had the bless­ing of their lead­ers to protest.

Speaker of the State As­sem­bly, Terkimbi Ikyange, how­ever told news­men in Makurdi that the work­ers mis­un­der­stood their good in­ten­tion and re­sponded neg­a­tively, de­scrib­ing the work­ers’ po­si­tion on the mat­ter as rather “un­for­tu­nate.”

Ikyange said: “We heard some peo­ple were termed “ghost work­ers” while they were phys­i­cally present at the other screen­ing ex­er­cises. We wanted to con­firm this and many more is­sues. But as you can see, soon, many of them would be sacked. Then, they would start run­ning to us (as­sem­bly) for in­ter­ven­tion.”

Gov­er­nor Or­tom of Benue State

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