…Govt sensitive to workers’ welfare — Aregbesola
By Gbenga Olarinoye
OSOGBO—As striking workers and pensioners continue to protest non-payment of salaries in Osun State, another civil servant, simply identified as Tunde, yesterday collapsed and died at government secretariat in Osogbo.
Tunde, who was a night watchman with Osun State government was said to have died following his inability to buy food and drugs due to non payment of his salary for seven months.
The night watchman attached to the Auditor-general’s Office was said to be on night duty when he collapsed and died at his duty post.
Reports said that the man who hailed from Modakeke may have died due to his failure to take his usual drugs for the management of an undisclosed illness. The incident drew the attention of staff of Auditor-General’s office where the man worked but all efforts to rescue him proved abortive.
It took the effort of men of Nigeria Police Force and Civil Defence Corps to evacuate the corpse with hundreds of sympathizers on hand.
A similar case was also reported on Wednesday when a middle-aged man died owing to lack of money to purchase drugs.
Speaking on the development, the Secretary of the Trade Union Congress in Osun State, Mrs. Tola Nosegbe, urged well-meaning Nigerians to join Christian Association of Nigeria and churches in giving aids to workers in the state to save them from untimely death.
Mrs. Nosegbe maintained that government had not been transparent in its approach to the non-payment of workers salaries, saying government should explain how it spent its allocation from January this year to date.
Workers and pensioners in Osun State have not been paid in the past seven months.
PDP seeks NEMA’s assistance
Meantime, the Osun state Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said the plight of workers in the state required intervention by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
The PDP though commended the decision of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, to donate food stuffs to the state civil servants whose salaries have not been paid for seven months, said the situation required National and International Agencies attention.
Govt sensitive to welfare of workers – Aregbesola
But the Governor Rauf Aregbesola has said that his administration remains sensitive to the welfare of Osun workers.
Aregbesola described the present financial situation of state that has made the state government unable to pay workers’ salary as disheartening and painful, saying however that no one can suggest or establish a single instance of recklessness on the part of his government.