It is purely unusual and unexpected of me to write or talk much on my Social Media Timeline about the ups and downs that have for long taken centre-stage on Katsina polity since the emergence of this self-assumed pure and clean administration. I write with a shocker because my ears could no longer have the ability to differentiate between whispering and whistling. I begun to ask myself one vital question in order to find a lasting solution to the noises echoing in my ears: IS THERE AN ACTIVE AND VALIDLY MANDATED Nigerian Labour Congress IN KATSINA STATE? IF THERE IS ANY, WHY IT KEEPS MUTE AS IF THERE IS NO LABOUR ISSUES IN THE STATE?
The point I am trying to expatiate here is non but the ‘THE ISSUE OF UNPAID SALARIES IN KATSINA STATE’. Though some will dismiss it as a non-issue at all, it nonetheless attracts my attention because I cannot make sense of why it is not brought on our books of records by the ace critics of the last administration. Honestly speaking, their much-echoed transparency advocacy during the previous administration is today proven as an empty rhetoric if they can maintain this loud silence in the face of brazen social injustice going on in the state. For a reminder, all of us had almost become the mouthpieces of APC thus confidently vigorously campaigned for Masari. We used so many means, especially social media, and methodologies, to achieve the purpose; to make an easy way and safe landing for this existing administration. In the process, we criticized the former governor for being self-contained in the execution of many projects. He was also accused of having a bad-listening ears; he was criticized for misappropriations; and all was done with the help of most of those now serving in the present administration.
So please, will there be any justification or development if we choose to shun all of the abnormalities happening now in this administration while we castigated the previous with all manner of braveness? Is this administration not criticism-bound? The administration is not exceptional, we are duty-bound to criticize and thus demand good governance. We do not criticize because we hate anybody or want bad for this administration. I am honestly short of words to explain the pains people are experiencing and the nonchalant and heartless attitudes government of Katsina state is showing towards their plight. It’s an understatement to say that people of Katsina state are really, really suffering.
What aggravates the situation is the salaries issue. Let pose this challenge to Hs Excellency; EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE WITH THE MONTH OF JULY ALLOCATION YOU COLLECTED FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHICH HAS GENERALLY INCREASED BY A WHOPPING AMOUNT OF OVER 300bn? Everybody knows there is increase in the allocation, so how come is it still difficult for Katsina state government to pay salaries including the deliberate backlog it initiated as and when due? The state government still owes its workforce outstanding salaries. In the month of July, most of the workers in LGAs were paid half of their monthly salaries and it was done in categories and at different places; from grade level 2 to 8 in schools while 2 to 9 in the local government councils.
I AT THIS POINT URGE THE STATE GOVERNMENT TO EXPLAIN TO THE PEOPLE WHY ALL THIS IS HAPPENING? WHY THE DISCREPANCIES IN SALARIES WHILE WE FULLY KNOW THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION DID NOT INHERIT BACKLOG OF SALARIES FROM ITS PREDECESSOR? There were screening exercises of workers in all the 34 local government areas, and everybody knows there were screening of a sort during the previous administration and at that time all the ‘ghost workers’ were said to have been sorted out. We all know this is a fact. There were workers whose appointments were terminated during the previous administration’s exercise. It’s pertinent therefore to think that, why this present administration has to sack more workers; making it looks no different from the previous? Some were legally employed but for one reason or another their appointments were terminated. Some spent 7 to 10 years in service, but, as insinuated in some quarters, they were sacked by being redundant hence add no value in the unproductivity output, which was not their fault anyway. Nobody had ever engaged them in any activities talk less of calling them a redundant workforce.
I EXPECT THE STATE GOVERNMENT TO HONESTLY EXPLAIN TO PEOPLE WHY THEY WERE SACKED; all that is happening now is much worse than what had happened during the former administration, the latter criticized the former of misappropriation while the latter did the worse of what it is criticising the former of. The latter accused the former of spending on wrong projects while for the latter, as they came, they lied to access a loan from CBN which they claimed they will use to pay outstanding salaries inherited from the previous administration. The funds were disbursed to the state government long ago. Though they had lied to access the monies but the question is; have they settled the false backlog they claimed to have inherited from the former which I can swear the former did not owe workers salaries up to his last minute in office? IS THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION TAKING US FOR A RIDE SUCH THAT IT TENDS TO TREAT US ANY HOW AND ANY WAY IT SO WISHED? THIS GOVERNMENT IS NOT SINCERE AT ALL. I must admit.
And on the “GOATS SCHEME”, the timing was wrong when most of the people are unable to access even half of the required square-meals per day, HOW COULD THEY BE ABLE TO FEED THEIR ANIMALS? ARE YOU SAYING THEY SHOULD RELEASE THEIR ANIMALS TO DESTROY FARMS and PEOPLE’S PROPERTY? I was opportuned to listen to one of the special advisers to the governor on a phone-in radio program on VISION FM. A women called and asked him of why the GOATS SCHEME is ongoing now while there is hunger and non-payment of outstanding salaries to workers. She suggested that they should pay the backlog salaries then introduce the so-called ‘GOATS SCHEME’ latter.
BUT TO MY GREATEST SURPRISE THE S.A DELIVERATELY AVOIDED THE QUESTION. ALL HE RATHER COULD ONLY SAY IS “I HOPE YOU ARE NOT A GHOST WORKER”. look at this please, IS THAT HOW IT SURPPOSED TO BE? DO WE HAVE BETTER GOVERNMENT OR ADMINISTRATION FROM THE FORMER? HONESTLY I DOUBT MUCH. I WANT EVERYONE TO REASON WELL PLEASE, IF WE SEE THINGS GOING ON WRONGLY WE MUST TALK, WE SHOULD NOT HESITATE TO CRITICIZE AND DEMAND GOOD GOVERNANCE TO PREVAIL IN OUR STATE.