Monday, 4 September 2017

Willie Obiano: 'Pay us or forget our votes,' ex-LG Chiefs threaten Anambra governor.

The ex-council chiefs said they won't vote for Obiano if their arrears totalling about N80m are not paid before the Nov. 18 governorship election.

Former Deputy Chairmen of Local Government Areas in Anambra State have threatened to withdraw their support for the state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano's re-election bid.

They said the governor should not count on their votes if their arrears totalling about N80 million are not paid before the November 18 governorship election in the state.

The council chiefs made the declaration on Saturday, September 2, after a meeting in Awka, the state capital.

They said the debts include wardrobe allowances, 28-day hotel claims, furniture allowances and salary differentials for the two years they served.

The chiefs, under the aegis of Deputy Chairmen’s Forum, alleged that former local government chairmen and councillors who served with them had long been paid such entitlements.

"We are 20 in number across Anambra north, central and south senatorial districts of the state; and we have siblings, children, parents, friends and well wishers," the forum leaders, Messrs Chuks Obiwelozo and Emmanuel Enwerem said.

They said each of the 20 ex-deputy chairmen are entitled to about N4 million.

"We want the governor to know what is going on; we are suffering and this is adversely affecting our families.

"And we want him to know that this is election period. We can’t go into that election in empty stomachs.

"The governor is a good person, but some of his aides are blocking us from seeing him and lodging our complaints. There’s communication gap and we are not happy about it,"they said.

According to them, when their tenure ended about a year ago, they were paid N2.5 million each in two instalments in that respect from their total due of back pay of about N6 million.

"Our protest is not against the governor, but it’s clear and natural that hungry people cannot be expected to participate effectively in any electoral process. We want the governor to hear this and pay us so that we can be part of the electioneering." the forum said.

However, the Chairman of Local Government/State Joint Account Committee, Mr Tony Olih, said the state government is not owing the former council chiefs.

He said the Obiano administration has settled the council ex-workers as stipulated in their letters of engagement.

"What you people should consider is whether the contents of the appointment letters were fulfilled or not. Their appointment letters were clear and they accepted them, so why return now after they had served out their tenures to complain?" Olih said.

He added that during the government's meeting with the deputies, they were told them what the government could afford and it was agreed that payment would best be staggered, and that was what was done.

By Dimeji Akinloye.
Culled from Pulse NG.

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