Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
Following the non-payment of salaries to Kogi State workers by the state government, a deputy director working in the Ministry of Education Tuesday slumped and died on the spot.
The civil servant, Mr. David Haruna, was in the Quality Control Department of the ministry.
THISDAY reliably gathered that since the assumption of this present administration, many lives have been lost including pensioners over non-payment of salaries and pensions.
According to an eyewitness, the late Haruna was said to have complained to his colleagues about the hardships he was going through following the non-payment of salaries by the state government.
According to a ministry source, Haruna died at about 12:00 noon on his way to to print the mandatory clock-in, clock-out for civil servants in the state, a practice that was introduced by the present governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
Those who had interactions with Haruna at work earlier in the day said he was full of life.
He was however said to have complained that in the last few weeks, it had been difficult meeting his family obligations, adding that in the last three days, he had to beg from neighbours to feed his family.
According to sources in the ministry, the last time he collected salary was the half salary paid in February 2018 which could not pay the backlog of debts he incurred before the payment of the 50 per cent salary.
Until his death, he was said to be hardworking and diligent.
As at time of filing this report, workers on the payroll of the state government were last paid in January, while others were paid in February.
As at Tuesday, a source disclosed that some staff of the state tertiary institutions were paid their February salaries, with efforts ongoing to pay March salaries to workers of the various ministries.
Workers in the Ministry of Education were seen huddled together crying profusely over Haruna’s demise when THISDAY visited the ministry Tuesday, while some were lamenting who would be the next victim.
According to the workers, deaths as a result of the non-payment of the civil servants’ salaries were becoming one too many, as they appealed to the state government to ameliorate their plight.
Meanwhile, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Onuh Edoka, said the union has directed one of its members to investigate the cause of Harun’s death before the leadership of the union can make their position known.