ONE life was on Wednesday lost in Benin, Edo State, during a mass protest organised by the state chapter of National Union Local Government Employees (NULGE) to press home their demand for the payment of their salary arrears ranging between two and 18 months.
The deceased was identified as Peter Ayewoh, a staff of Esan North East Local Government Area, who reportedly gave up the ghost after he slumped and died while carrying out the mass action in company with the contingent from his council.
A one-minute silence was observed in the honour of Ayewoh, whose body has been reportedly taken to Uromi in Esan North East Local Government Area.
For about four hours, the protest and protesters shutdown human and vehicular activities in parts of the Benin metropolis such as Sapele Road, Akpakpava Road, Mission Road, Forestry Road, Airport Road and the Ring Road, where they converged.
Numbering about 3,000, they wore black attires and converged in five different locations from where they all marched to the heart of the Benin City at the Ring Road.
The local government workers, who came from the 18 local government areas of the state, carried placards with inscriptions such as “How long shall we be patient without salaries?”
They were led by national leaders of the NULGE including the national president, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleen, and national treasurer, Comrade Joshua Irapakob, and joined by the Edo State NULGE chairman, Comrade Edward Ilenikhena.
National Treasurer of NULGE, Joshua Irapakob, in his address, said NULGE members were willing to vote for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the September 10 governorship election in the state if the party was willing to pay the salaries of the workers.
In his remark, Comrade Khaleel expressed disappointed at the treatment of local government workers by the state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, accusing the governor of dumping workers after using them to get to office.