Over 1,000 local government workers, under the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees in Edo State, on Tuesday, stage a mass protest over the non-payment of their salaries by 16 local government councils.
The aggrieved, who were all dressed in black, marched around the Ring Road axis of Benin, the Edo State capital, with placards and forcing traffic to standstill for several hours, before heading for the Nigerian Union of Journalists Press Centre.
It was learnt that some of the protesters also smashed the windscreen of a taxi driver who tried to drive through their midst.
The State President of the union, Edward Young, said most of the employees were being owed between one and eighth months salaries.
Young, who alleged that the workers had been subjected to “abandonment and inhuman treatment,” explained that several negotiations and appeals by the union had failed to produce any useful result.
He listed the defaulting LG councils to include Oredo, Ikpoba Okha, Egor, Igbogbazuwa, Okada, Orhionmwon, Uhunmwode.
Others are Igueben, Esan West, Auchi, Fugar, Igarra, Sabongida Ora and Esan Central.
The NULGE president, who lamented that the union had lost “a lot” of its members due to “lack of medical care,” wondered why the salaries of the affected workers were yet to be paid, when employees under the State Universal Basic Education Board had been paid.
He, therefore, called on the state to take responsibility for the payment of the teachers in order to enable the councils meet their financial obligations.