Commercial and government activities were on Thursday grounded to a halt following a massive protest by workers at the Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Adelove News reports that hundreds of workers had occupied major roads in Nsukka town, urging Prof Rose Onah, the chairperson, caretaker committee of the council, to pay them one and half month salary.
Enquiries by our correspondent showed that the workers were being owed about 17 months salary arrears.
Some of the placards dislayed by the workers read: “Use the N72m of this month council allocation to pay us for one and half month; Our children are dying of hunger and are out of school; a worker deserves his wage.”
The chairman of the National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, in Nsukka council, Mr, George Ugwu said that workers decided to carry out the exercise to force the council boss into complying with the state government’s directive to pay them one and half month salary from the N72m.
“The council has N72m allocation this month and it will be enough to pay one and half month salary of the workers.
“But Onah said she will pay us one month only and use the remaining to attend to other council’s problems; this is unacceptable to us.
“The council can use internally generated revenue to attend to other problems”, he said.
When contacted, Onah said that she was not given any directive by the state government to pay one and half month salary to the workers.
“I have always showed the leaders of workers the amount we get as allocation every month; I am surprised that Ngwu will call out workers for protest.
“The NULGE leader did not even give any warning before carrying out the protest.
“Ngwu came to my office this afternoon and dropped note of protest and went out; before I know it, the protest has started,” she said.
The council boss said that if she used the entire allocation to pay salary, the council would be grounded financially.
“If they are ready for the one month, the council will pay them, but if they still insist on one and half months, I can’t kill myself for them”, she said.