Severance Allowance: Councilors, supervisors protest non payment in Ebonyi

Severance Allowance: Councilors, supervisors protest non payment in Ebonyi

“The protest is sponsored by the detractors of this administration“ – Ebonyi govt

About three hundred and forty-two former Councillors and sixty-five Supervisors who hail from the 13 LGAs of Ebonyi State have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged unpaid severance allowance by the state government.

The ex-Councillors and Supervisors who served under governor David Umahi,, said they forfeited one month’s salary to support Umahi’s re-election in 2019, and expressed regret over the delay in the payment of their severance allowance after serving the meritoriously.

The former councillors, who besieged the office of the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Donatus Njoku to demand the immediate payment of their severance allowance, carried placards with various inscriptions, saying, ‘Say no to cabals that hijacked LGA funds, severance allowance is our right, not a privilege, withholding former councillors entitlement since 2017 is an aberration, etc.

The protesting former councillors, however, tasked the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters to implement the governor’s directives by paying them the severance allowance or should resign from office, failure to do that.

“Commissioner for local government, pay former councillors severance allowance or resign, former councillors of Ebonyi state are hungry, they said.

The protesters who spoke to newsmen through their state chairman, Mr. Nwoguchimereze Celestine lamented the suffering and hardship facing their members, adding that some of their members have died as a result of the situation.

He noted further that former councillors who served under governor David Umahi’s administration between 2017 to 2020 and 2020 to 2022, including supervisors have not received severance allowance.

According to him: “we came to see the commissioner for LG, in respect of the payment of our severance allowance. Recall that Governor David Umahi approved the payment of our severance allowance on 4th September, where he announced publicly that we should be paid but up till now, that money has not been paid to us.

“We have written to the governor and all the government officials more than 20 times and no response. We are saying that this severance allowance is our entitlement. Former councillors in Ebonyi State are suffering and some have died, while others are doing nothing.

“We served governor David Umahi’s government with all our efforts, we sacrificed a lot including our one-month salary in 2019, when we did all to return the governor for the second tenure. We are not happy and that’s why we are crying. We want the governor to hear our voice.

“They have been lying to the governor that they have paid us when they did not do anything. We are calling on the government of Ebonyi State to immediately pay us our severance allowance because we have waited enough. We want Nigerians and President Muhammadu Buhari to hear our voice because it is our constitutional right that we should be paid severance allowance” he stated.

In a swift reaction, the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters, Mr. Donatus Njoku denied knowledge of any severance allowance owed to the former councillors and blamed the protesters for being sponsored by the opposition to distract the state government led by Governor David Umahi.

According to him: “The purported protest is the handiwork of the enemies of Governor Umahi’s administration. Firstly, they served in the local government, and the state government doesn’t control what happens at the local government level. If they are not paid, the best option is to channel their complaints to the local government where they served.

“I think the protest is sponsored by the detractors of this administration. They came last time, and as a supervising ministry, we urged the local government chairmen to pay them, which many of them have started paying” he stated

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