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Wednesday 28 October 2015

Angry LG workers chase away Benue lawmakers

Angry LG workers chase away Benue lawmakers

Governor Ortom of Benue State

Angry local government workers in Benue State yesterday chased away members of the state House of Assembly who had visited headquarters of the 23 council areas to perform their legislative duties.

Daily Trust reports that the lawmakers had during plenary session last week insisted that they have the constitutional responsibility to make laws, investigate any matter and carry out oversight functions on the verification exercise of LG staff.

The idea was mooted following the hues and cries of workers at the grassroots, who were subjected to what they called ‘”needless and stressful biometric exercise”  by the state government in order to detect ghost workers.The aim, according to sources, was to pave way for the disbursement of the bailout fund the government received from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Our correspondent gathered that the workers vehemently resisted the lawmakers yesterday, with some physically protesting while others stayed away from the venue of the exercise.Although, none of the workers agreed to speak with their names on print, those who  spoke said it was one exercise too many by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government in the state.

Effort to speak with the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) chairman in the state was not  fruitful at the time of this report, but the workers hinted that they had the blessing of their leaders to protest.

Speaker of the State Assembly, Terkimbi Ikyange, however told newsmen in Makurdi that the workers misunderstood their good intention and responded negatively, describing the workers’ position on the matter as rather “unfortunate.”

Ikyange said: “We heard some people were termed “ghost workers” while they were physically present at the other screening exercises. We wanted to confirm this and many more issues. But as you can see, soon, many of them would be sacked. Then, they would start running to us (assembly) for intervention.”

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