Hundreds of workers of Ewekoro Local Government Area, Ogun State on Tuesday protested against the alleged plan by the council to spend the N34.2m to host Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who is scheduled to visit the area on Thursday.
The workers, who protested under the aegis of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, Ewekoro branch, alleged that transition committee of the council led by Sunday Akinyemi, had decided to pay them only 50 per cent of their April salaries due to the governor’s visit.
The protesters workers locked the council secretariat gates while the chairman and the other members of the transition committee were holding a meeting.
They held placards reading, ‘N34.2m is not enough to pay salary’. ‘Why now?; Mr. Governor, Ewekoro LG staff are suffering’ and ‘We say no to half salary for the month of April 2012’.
Speaking with reporters, the Ewekoro NULGE Chairman, Akinsola Akintola, warned that the workers would not call off their protest unless the Itori council paid them full salaries.
The council chairman however declined comments on the issue.
But the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Muyiwa Oladipo, confirmed that the state government was aware of the payment of the half salary.
Oladipo, who spoke through the Information Officer in his ministry, Lateef Oshitelu, said the problem was not peculiar to Ewekoro as it also affected all the local government councils in the state.
He added that the state government chose to re-distribute the allocation from the Federal purse in order to ensure even development of all the 20 council areas in the state.
Oladipo, however, blamed the development on the “meagre” federal allocation which he said was too small to execute projects at the grass roots.