By Ibrahim Oyewale
The Kogi State Chapter Chairman of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Comrade Gabriel Amari, has rejected the proposed 50 per cent salary payment for health workers in the 21 local government areas of the state .
He also cried out over alleged coercion of the Union in the local government councils by government functionaries to accept percentage salary in the State for the month of April.
Amari explained that the members and other unions in the state were being coerced by the Directors of Local Government Administration (DLGS) in the 21 LGAs to accept a dummy that the State Government had directed a reduction in the already ridiculous 50 per cent salary paid to LG workers in the state, describing the attempt to use the governor’s name to cause more hardship on local government workers as wicked and inhuman.
He expressed reservation at the alleged directives, saying it was not only a manipulation of the DLGs to further impoverish local government workers in the state, but it is also an unfortunate way of dragging the name of the state government in the mud adding that such a plan was totally unacceptable to LG workers in the state.
The Union Leader argued that there was no reduction in the monthly allocation of the state that could warrant any percentage salary payments stressing that the DLG’s should stop hiding under the guise of COVID-19 to deny workers in the local government their legitimate right amidst the hardship in the country.
According to Amari, ”if the state government is not directing the Accountant General to pay percentage salary payment to state workers ,why should DLGs think of this unpopular and inhuman move against the overstretched and impoverished LG workers.?”
The chairman particularly lamented the plight of LG workers as exemplified by the functions and daily activities of health workers and noted with concern that despite their vulnerability and dangers in line of duties especially in the current global health challenges COVID-19, there are no PPE s, or incentives to encourage them.
The Union leader who saluted the commitments, the patience and resilience of Local Government workers especially their Health counterparts in the State then called on the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and the 21DLGS in the State to stop dragging the name of the Kogi State Government to the mud by putting to rest with immediate effect any alleged plan to pay percentage salary to Local Government workers in the State.