A former Minister of Information and national secretary of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Labaran Maku, has decried the poor state of workers’ welfare in the state.
He described it as suffocation of workers and the people of the state, noting that the people of the state, particularly workers, had been subjected to abject poverty and penury as a result of Governor Tanko Al-makura’s continuous payment of workers salary in percentage.
Maku appealed to the state government to pay workers their full entitlement in order to ameliorate the current hardship in the state.
The former minister raised the alarm while speaking to journalists shortly after an expanded executive council meeting of the party on Tuesday in Lafia, where a new secretary of the party, Sam Allu, was elected to replace Emmanuel Yaro, who defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC).
“How can a government that is crying of lack of funds to pay workers’ salaries, take 20 officials of government to China under the guise that they are trying to woo investors? Investors for who? Who will patronise their manufactured products? Is it the workers that can hardly feed as a result of non-payment of salaries? And we all know that Nasarawa State is a civil service state,” he said.
Maku comically buttressed his point by saying: “There is a man in Kokona Local Government Area of the state and unfortunately he is a Gwandara man, the governor’s tribe. He gave birth to a child and named him ‘percentage.’ When people asked why, he said in the olden days, people named their children with prevailing circumstances and therefore, he decided to name his child according to the prevailing situation in the state now, which is payment of salaries in percentages.”
The APGA national secretary said he would not criticise the former state secretary of the party for leaving the party but wondered why he chose APC at this time, “given the terrible situation the party has subjected the people of the state.”
Maku added that he bore no grudge against anyone, pointing out that politics was like football clubs, where players were bound to switch allegiance at the end of seasons depending on the demand by various clubs.