From Tony Osauzo, Benin
A staff of Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State yesterday slumped and died during a protest by members of the National Union Local Government Employees (NULGE) from the 18 local governments in the state.
The protesters numbering over 3,000 and dressed in black, were protesting non-payment of their salary arrears when the man identified as Peter Ayewoh attached to the Works Department of Esan North East Local Government, slumped and died.
The workers, who shut down Benin, the state capital, thereby causing gridlock for almost four hours, later took their protest to the secretariat of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) where their leaders addressed the media.
The leaders decried the lukewarm attitude of Governor Adams Oshiomhole to the plight of the workers, alleging that he has abandoned them after voting him to power.
Specifically, National Treasurer of NULGE, Joshua Irapakob, said if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was willing to pay the workers’ salaries, they were ready to vote for its candidate in the September 10 governorship election, even as he called for unity of purpose among the workers to enable them achieve their cause.
In his address, National President of NULGE, Ibrahim Khaleen, alleged that Governor Oshiomhole used the workers and dumped them after they rallied to elect him into power.
He promised that the national secretariat of NULGE would identify with the workers and called for more mobilisation to see the end of the struggle.