After several attempts to blackmail the heads of the state Judiciary and the gallant leaders of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Kogi State Branch, Governor Yahaya Bello appears to be the clog in the wheel of progress.
Three weeks after the suspension of the over four months strike declared by the Kogi state branch of JUSUN to demand for payment of ten months’ salary arrears, Governor Bello is still looking for money to pay the Judiciary workers.
Recall that during the presentation of his 2019 budget before the state’s House of Assembly on 24th December 2018, Governor Bello claimed that the salaries of judiciary workers were lying idly in the banks. He alleged that the union’s strike action had hindered payment of salaries owed judiciary workers.
According to Bello, the genuine civil servants in the judiciary were being forced to boycott their own salaries and pensions while the money for their several months sits in the bank.
Against Bello’s expectations, JUSUN suspended its industrial action embarked upon in December, 2018 on 28th April, 2019. This action was taking in good faith to give Bello a benefit of doubt but his Judiciary workers are still without pay three weeks after resuming work.
Where is the money Bello claimed was lying idly in banks? I can confirm authoritatively that there is no money sitting in banks for settlement of outstanding salaries owed Judiciary workers. The accounts are empty!
As we speak, Bello is confused. He is still consulting his spin doctors on the next narrative to sell as excuse for his inability to pay 11 months salary arrears owed Judiciary workers in the state.
The funds meant for Judiciary salaries have been frittered away, bulk of which was used to prosecute the electoral heist witnessed during the just concluded general elections. He was actually hoping that the strike will go on till the much anticipated N30billion bailout balance hits the state accounts. Calling off the JUSUN strike before the N30billion windfall has thrown Bello into serious confusion.
The suspension of JUSUN strike has exposed Bello’s lies that the money for Judiciary worker’s salaries was sitting in the bank. The state government is currently caressing the last allocation received without any sign that workers will get a dime from the statutory cash inflow.
By end of next month, Bello will be owing Judiciary workers 12 months salary arrears! What manner of a Governor is this Bello? He churns out lies upon lies to cover perfidy in his inglorious government. The suspension of JUSUN strike is yet another confirmation that Governor Bello is an unskillful liar whose words cannot be taken serious.
It is high time his party leaders, president Muhammad Buhari and fellow governors give him lesson notes on how to be a good and trust worthy governor.
– Adamu Ojonugwa writes from Lokoja.