Edo APC Councilors protest non payment of 5 months salaries


By Joy Odigie

The Forum of All Progress Congress (APC) Councillors in Edo on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest in Benin over the non payment of their five months salaries.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protesters marched to the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists to lodge their grievances.

Spokespers of the group, Mr Emwinghare Osabuohien, alleged that the councillors, numbering 90, were owed because they refused to decamp to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with Gov. Godwin Obaseki.

Osabuohien, however, said that their colleagues, who decamped to the PDP, were being paid their monthly salaries regularly.

“We, the councilors  elected  on  the  platform of APC in  Edo, are  here to  draw  your  attention and  that  of  the  world  to  the  inhuman  treatment  and  abuse  of  our right  by  the Local Government Chairmen on  the  directive  of  the  governor.

“It  will  be  recalled  that  in  the  build  up  to  the  Edo Governorship Election,  the governor  decamped from APC, having  been  disqualified  by  the  national  screening  committee  of  the party.

“Afterwards, he directed  that  all  political  appointees and  elected  political  office  holders  should  resign  from  APC and  join  him  in PDP.

“Today,  the  world  should  know  that  as  elected  councilors,  numbering 90,  we  have  not  been  paid  our  salaries  since  May  because of our refusal to join PDP,” Osabuohien said.

He said that they found no moral justification to decamp to the PDP and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to come to their rescue.

He said: “We are being denied our  right of freedom of association and democratic choice. We are being victimised for not decamping to PDP.

“We are also calling on the Oba of Benin and other well-meaning Nigerians and foreign embassies in Nigeria to wade into the matter.

Reacting, the Commissioner of Information, Mr Stewart Efe, told journalists that the allegation of non payment of five months salaries to the councillors was false.

Efe said that the protest was politically-motivated and that the Obaseki-led administration did not owe anybody in the state. (NAN)

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