Tuesday, September 17, 2019 3:03 pm
After much delay, the Kogi State Government has commenced part and sellective payment of entitlements to former political office holders at the Local Government levels. Only members of the All Progressives Congress, APC are paid the pittance and conspicuously sidelining members of other parties, notably the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP who served alongside with them.
The government received the last tranche of the N50.8bn Bail Out Funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, about two months ago. Since that time, expectations had been high that the outstanding allowances of the former political office holders at both Local and State Government levels captured in the funds will be paid. The groups held series of meetings with officials of the Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration in which assurances were given about the payment.
A little relief came the way of the victims last Friday, when some of them received alert. The payment is still ongoing. Apart from leaving out members of other political parties, the payments have also been haphazard. TheNews gathered that the payments were not uniform across the 21 Local Governments of the State.
“The government has bastardized the payment and made it miserable.” A former counselor from Dekina Local Government who claimed he was paid N800,000 out of the N10m due to him lamented.
“I have never seen this type of impunity before. People in different local governments were paid different amounts even when we were being owed almost equally. For instance beneficiaries were paid flat rates per local government, not minding status or how much is being owed. Those in OgoriMagongo got N170,000; Mopamuro got N404,000; Okehi got 382,000 while Bassa got N720,000. Many Local Governments have not been paid at all. What type of accounting system and injustice is that?”
It was gathered that to further complicate the payments, while some beneficiaries were paid more than was due to them, some of the Local Governments have not started payments at all.
As at the time of filling this report, former political office holders at the state level were yet to be paid anything, fuelling speculations that they may have been left completely out of the package. Although, they are being owed 4 months salary arrears and severance benefits, the administration has not extended any kind gesture to them since it’s take off, about four years ago.