AGENE GODWIN, Benin
Staff of some Edo State-owned tertiary institutions under the aegis of the Coalition of Unions of State-Owned Tertiary Institutions, (COASU), Tuesday, led a protest to the Government House demanding the immediate payment of their salary arrears amounting to five months.
The workers in their hundreds wore black attires armed with spoons and bowls while others carried placards with anti-government inscriptions including; “Governor what happened to the bailout fund you collected on our behalf”, “Governor can you survive without 6months salaries? ‘bail us out, pay us our salaries,’ among others.
Some of the affected institutions are the College of Education, Ekiadolor, College of Education, Igueben, Edo State Polytechnic Usen and the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi.
President of COASU, Comrade Fred Omonuwa decried the decay of infrastructure in the affected institutions and vowed to sustain the protest until their demand is met.
He also urged the state to settle the outstanding salaries of workers from the bail-out fund received from the federal government meant for the purpose of paying workers’ salaries.
“Our people are been owned 5 months salaries. We all have children and families. The governor has gone to town saying that he is not owing and now they brought bail out from the federal government and they don’t want to bail us out.
“It is sad that they have politicised everything. When you ask for your right they will say you are PDP. Our children must celebrate this Christmas,” he said.
In addition, Omonuwa also alleged that the state government had connived with the institutions’ management to hijack their cooperative funds running into millions of naira.