Posted by Garba Ahmad, Kaduna | 30 August 2013 | 4,013 times
There was tension as workers in Kudan Local Government Area of Kaduna State yesterday held the council’s management hostage for several hours following the inability of the council to pay last year’s leave grant.
Investigations by News Express revealed that those held included the council Chairman, Alhaji Umar Mairakumi, Director Personnel Management, Yusuf Mu’azu and Treasurer, Kabiru Idris.
An eyewitness at the Council’s Secretariat in Hunkuyi, Malam Garba Mati, said the aggrieved workers held an emergency meeting in the local government and discussed on ways to press home their demand,
“At the end of the meeting, they resolved to meet the chairman in his office and inquire the whereabout of their leave grant. The chairman exonerated himself and told them to see the Treasurer,” he disclosed.
The source added that when they met the Treasurer, he referred them to the Council’s Director of Personnel and Management, for which they felt aggrieved and sealed up the Secretariat.
He said the Secretariat remained under lock and key for several hours, adding that it took the intervention of the police to rescue the situation after firing tear gas into the air to disperse the aggrieved workers.
An official of Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), who pleaded anonymity, said the decision was taken to press home their demand for the payment of their 2012 leave grant.
According to him, the workers were pushed to the wall, hence they had no option than to react violently with a view to fighting for their right.
News Express reliably gathered that the State Auditor General had visited the local government in respect of the said crisis.
Confirming the incident when contacted, the council chairman said the council was not buoyant enough to pay the leave grant.
“Our monthly salary stands at N100 million and their leave grant is about N33 million. The council has no money to settle that. Remember, leave grant is not a right but a privilege; the right of the worker is salary,” he asserted.
•Photo shows Kaduna State Governor Muktar Yero.
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