The Senator representing Kogi West in the Senate, Senator Dino Melaye, has berated the governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, over his recent sack of 1,667 civil servants of the state without due process, describing the action as illegal and unacceptable.
The lawmaker also faulted a claim by Governor Bello that he (Bello) had recently obtained a N10 billion loan in order to offset outstanding salaries of workers in the state, saying there couldn’t have been a loan without the approval of the State House of Assembly.
Melaye, in a press statement personally signed by him and sent to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, alleged that “indiscriminate sacking of workers has now become a pastime for Yahaya Bello in Kogi State”, even as he bemoaned the current situation of the state, which according to him, “has been turned to a Civil Service State owing to the dearth of ideas to turnaround the fortunes of the state for development, productivity and sustainability.”
“The latest of Yahaya Bello’s unnecessary war against the civil servants in Kogi State was delivered in a garb of a report by a Staff Screening, Validation and Appeal Committee, which recommended outright dismissal and prosecution of 1,667 workers cutting across ministries, departments and agencies of the state government (MDAs) on the spurious allegation of certificate forgery.
“On Monday, January 8 and Tuesday, January 9, a national daily carried a two-part paid advertorial containing the names of the indicted civil servants and in the words of the committee, they were ‘indicted for breaching Public Service Rules as a result of falsification of academic records’,” Melaye said.
He noted that in the advertorials sponsored by the state government, the committee did not avail the public or even Kogites of its methodology of coming to the conclusion that the affected staff actually falsified their academic certificates.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the committee has no power to declare any worker’s academic result(s) fake except a competent court of law. This goes without saying the embarrassment caused the workers, their families and friends, particularly the elderly victims of Yahaya Bello’s charade, who had served the state for decades and rose to the enviable position of Permanent Secretary.
“This kind of inhuman government has no place in our society and her actions cannot go unchallenged. Consequently, I sympathise with the affected workers and their families while I implore them to go to court immediately to seek redress and clear their names of forgery allegation leveled against by an anti-people government of Kogi,” Melaye added.
He continued “For the records, Yahaya Bello claims he obtained a whopping N10 billion Loan to offset salary arrears. This is a lie and it can be easily detected to be so because there was no approval to that effect by the State House of Assembly on one hand and on the other hand the outstanding 15-month salary due to the civil servants in the state as at today puts a lie to the governor’s claim.”
“If the immediate past Governor Idris Wada of Kogi can be spending a little over N3 billion as monthly salary of workers during his time and without sacking anybody, how come Yahaya Bello, who had sacked over 3,000 workers since inception, cannot pay staff salaries today?
“It is clear to me that Yahaya Bello is only trying to reduce Kogi State’s monthly salary bill by victimising innocent civil workers in order for him to have more money for frivolities as we are witnessing in the state of recent.
“Therefore, in order to put an end to Yahaya Bello’s unending lies, I challenge him to publish the names of workers paid their full salaries for the month of December 2017 and the names of banks used in the payment. I also challenge him to a public debate on the state of affairs of our dear Kogi State,” he said.
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