Kogi crisis: Investigate disbursement of bailout funds, NLC tells FG
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has called on the Federal Government to immediately intervene in Kogi State crisis and as a matter of urgency, commence investigations into the disbursements of bail-out funds to the state.
Specifically, the congress demanded urgent investigation to ensure if the 50 per cent of the bail-out was applied to payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities as directed by the Federal Government.
Besides, the NLC urged the Federal Government to question continuous non-payment of salaries and pensions and the endless staff audit in Kogi State, which has become a convenient alibi for owing salaries and pensions.
The NLC President. Comrade Ayuba Wabba, in a statement titled ‘Intervene in Kogi Now’, warned that the industrial disharmony in Kogi State is steadily degenerating into major political crisis.
“We also believe that the Federal Government should be concerned that the state-contrived industrial disharmony is slowly, but steadily degenerating into a political crisis as exemplified by the clamp down on ASUU and the state-sponsored violence in the House of Assembly and other acts of witch-hunt in the state’s socio-political space.” Wabba said.
“We need not remind the Federal Government that these represent strong threats to our democracy and should not be condoned,” he added.
He said the congress was appalled by the developments in the Kogi State House of Assembly in particular and the state in general.
The NLC president said “For those who may not have been in the know, last week, the speaker, Honourable Alfa Imam was forced out and a more pliant one installed. The offence of the former Speaker was that he had initiated a legislative process to look into the disbursements of the Paris Club refund following non-payment of salaries and pensions and the industrial tensions in its aftermath.
“But the former Speaker was lucky to have gotten off ‘lightly’ as the house member who moved the motion for this process ended up in Plaster of Paris (POP) courtesy of the thugs dispatched to disrupt the house proceedings.
“The Kogi State situation represents the height of intolerance, insensitivity and impunity, and a precursor to dictatorship and anarchy which should be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians and apprehended by the Federal Government before the situation spins out of control.”
He stated that the Federal Government should not be under the illusion that the developments in the state will simply peter out with time, adding that it would be a criminally negligent assumption and therefore dangerous.
“We at the Nigeria Labour Congress similarly consider ourselves duty-bound to remind the Federal Government that it should not sacrifice the interests of the people of Kogi State on political considerations or convenience. The Kogi State situation has dragged on for too long and the Federal Government cannot continue to look the other way. The time to act is now.
“We are guided by the dictum that it is better to build strong institutions instead of strong individuals, because whereas strong institutions protect our democracy, strong individuals threaten it.” Wabba said.