Salary arrears: Ex-councillors forum rejects planned protest against Enugu Govt

Salary arrears: Ex-councillors forum rejects planned protest against Enugu Govt

Salary arrears: Ex-councillors forum rejects planned protest against Enugu Govt

 The Forum of Former Councillors in Enugu says it uncovered plans by some of its allegedly compromised members to stage a protest against the state government over unpaid salary arrears and other entitlements.

The Chairman of the group, Mr Chidiebere Okoh, disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Enugu.

According to him, the planned protest would be ill-motivated and capable of heating up the polity.

The chairman said that it had become necessary to clarify issues that bordered on the arrears of salaries and entitlements owed former councillors who served from 1999 and 2015.

He said that no fewer than 1,000 councillors who served within the period were owed varied sums of salary arrears, severance allowances and other entitlements.

Okoh, however, said that the debt was not being owed by the state government, noting that it was not its statutory responsibility to remunerate councillors.

”It is the statutory responsibility of local governments to pay elected councillors as well as appointees of local governments,” he said.

According to him, the current administration in the state, however, intervened and undertook to pay the former councillors some stipends to ameliorate the hardship they faced.

”The state government paid each of the former councillors N25,000 as palliative on monthly basis for approximately one year.

“Part of their salary arrears and entitlements was also paid,” he said.

He said that the state government had shown enough commitment to the welfare of the members of the group, adding that it would be uncharitable to embark on such a protest.

”The state government is not owing us, as it is not its duty to pay us.

”We are not oblivious of the fact that few of our members, out of greed and desperation, have allowed themselves to be used by political rivals to blackmail the state government.

”We therefore, disassociate the forum from the planned protest, while pledging our support to the state government,” he said.

Okoh advised political actors in the state to preoccupy their minds with how to sustain the peace of the state.