The All Progressives Congress (APC), has faulted the decision of governor of Benue state, Mr. Gabriel Suswan, to deduct workers salaries without their consent, urging him to immediately rescind the decision.
In a statement issued the Secretary of the Benue state chapter of APC, Comrade Musa Abba, the party described the decision as act of callousness, saying, the workers in the state deserve to be paid their salaries as long as the state continues to receive her own share of the federation allocation.
The APC argued that workers in Benue State depend on their salaries for survival and must be paid in full and as when due.
The APC therefore called on the the PDP-led government of Governor Suswam to immediately rescind the decision, saying it is designed to cause hardship to the workers and people of the state.
“A reasonable government needed to have provided answers to questions now asked by Benue people such: Is this a mandatory or voluntary pay-cut? By how much and by what scale have the salaries being lowered? Was there any civil service circular for this pay-cut? Will there be retroactive reimbursement? How will this affect raises, bonuses and benefits?
“We urge Governor Gabriel Suswam to channel the money he is using to procure endorsements for his senatorial ambition to the plight of workers in the state and other useful ventures.
“Of late, the PDP’s insensitivity and desperation has seen the Governor use unimaginable sums of money to buy over some food-is-ready politicians in the state and organize elaborate decamping ceremonies for them. Could it not have been better to use such monies for the plight of workers?
“The Governor may not need pay-cuts if he disengages the over 1,000 Aides and Assistants who collect salaries and other perquisites from government with neither schedules nor offices.
“Further, the Governor has earned notoriety as the most travelled and absentee Governor in the country, always embarking meaningless and unworthy foreign trips that see him permanently out of the state and have earned him the acronym “NEW NYANYA” from helpless Benue people.
“Annually, the Governor sponsors large delegation of party stalwarts to America to attend the Mutual Union of Tiv in America (MUTA) conventions. All these attract millions of Dollars in estacode for heartless party Chieftains and government officials to luxuriate lavishly while workers suffer pay-cuts.
“It is a fact that monumental and condoned corruption in the government of Rt. Hon. Gabriel Torwua Suswam, has necessitated pay-cuts and all sorts of deductions to the anguish and pain of workers while the Benue landscape is dotted with state-of-the-art houses, hotels, filling stations and all sorts of businesses, all traced to either Suswam, members of his family or few favoured Aides or, to some cronies acting in his behalf.
“The PDP Government of Gabriel Suswam has since inception in 2007 neglected Benue’s endowment in agriculture, which, if fully exploited, can make it the envy of other states. Suswam should distance himself from the retrogressive idea that the only way to make the state buoyant is by adjusting the revenue formula in their favour.
“This is the rent-seeking mentality that has made the states indolent, always waiting for the month to end to rush to Abuja to collect their allocations.
“Above all, why has Governor Suswam consistently persisted in the lie of the state’s inability to pay wages when the facts and figures indicate that the state’s total earnings from Federal Allocation in the form of Domestic Crude Account, excess crude account, VAT, and Subsidy Reinvestment Programme stand at about N75 billion annually, averaging about N6.2 billion monthly?, APC queried.
“While the Local Governments of the state collect on the average about N3.4 billion monthly in the face of a total monthly wage bill of N1.1 billion for primary school teachers, N1.7 billion for Local Government workers,” it added.