Thursday, December 25, 2014 5:03 pm
Government workers in Benue State are ‘suffering and smiling’.
Owed salaries for four months by Governor Gabriel Suswam, the workers said they were not complaining and were celebrating Christmas today in high spirit in spite of the state government’s inability to pay their salaries.
The workers according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) are even snubbing a strike call by the local chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress.
Instead, NAN reports, the workers said they were not happy that the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) was trading their welfare for political benefits.
“Comrade Simon Anchaver‘s leadership of the state NLC has shown clearly that it is not capable of fighting for workers’ welfare.
“First, Anchaver used NLC chairmanship position and the workers welfare to bargain for his 2015 governorship ambition which he eventually lost to Prince Terhemen Tarzoor.
“ He contested election without resigning his appointment with the state Ministry Agriculture because of his closeness to the governor.
“He does not have the interest of the workers at heart; all he does is look for ways of enriching himself and build his political career,” a teacher in Gboko Local Government said.
The teacher, who pleaded anonymity, criticised the NLC leadership in the state for failing to support them at the expense of their personal ambitions.
“NLC in Benue has become a political party where only party issues are being discussed instead of the welfare of members.
“Can you imagine that the NLC chairman, on December 24 at about 4:00 pm, ordered all workers to embark on a three-day warning strike should the government fail to pay salaries?
“Anchaver declared strike when he knew very well that the Federal Government had declared December 25 and 26 as public holidays to mark the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
“We are tired of the situation and want the national body of the NLC to wade into the matter to enable us to get our monthly salaries”.
He also appealed to the national leadership to urge President Goodluck Jonathan to call Gov .Gabriel Suswam to order.
Another teacher from Makurdi Local Government, who for fear of reprisal preferred anonymity, berated the leadership of the NLC in Benue for failing to fight for workers’ rights.
She said that the NLC’s leadership had chosen to involve itself in politics thereby abandoning its primary responsibility of fighting for workers’ welfare.
Efforts to contact Comrade Anchaver proved abortive.