The President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, on Tuesday in Abuja appealed to Nigerians to rally round Kogi workers by donating relief materials to them.
Mr. Wabba, who was answering questions from journalists on the Kogi worker who committed suicide on Friday, said this was necessary in order to avert another act of suicide.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Edward Soje had taken his life after going 11 months without his monthly salaries.
“With the suicide mission embarked upon by the state worker, it shows that Kogi state workers are already internally displaced.
“This unfortunate suicide mission by the Kogi worker is an issue that should worry all Nigerians, as non-payment of salaries is becoming a reality among workers in the state,’’ Mr. Wabba said.
He disclosed that the NLC would soon have an audience with the governor of Kogi State in view of the fact that the plight of workers in the state was becoming worrisome.
The NLC president however pointed out that non-payment of salaries had assumed a dangerous dimension in the country by leading to workers committing suicide, and should be tackled headlong.
He said the labour union would also take its case to the National Assembly.
“We will be demanding that the legislative body should urge governors of affected states to pay salaries when due.’’
Mr. Wabba however said it was unfortunate that the Kogi governor had two weeks ago during a courtesy call on President Muhammadu Buhari claimed that he was only owing two months’ salaries.
He added that it was more embarrassing that the same governor had, through the state’s Head of Service, later owned up that his government owed Mr. Soje only eight months’ salary.
“This is an issue the NLC will not take lightly. We are resolute and we will mobilise our people to protest the non-payment of salaries in Kogi.
“We have learnt however that the governor is in the habit of using thugs to harass people, but we shall be there, because we know he is not ready for dialogue,” the NLC president said.
NAN reports that the late Mr. Soje, who was a Director in the Kogi State Civil Service, had committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree in Lokoja, the state capital.
He was a Grade Level 16 officer in the State Teaching Service Commission at the time he took his own life.