From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State has condemned in totality the way and manner local government workers in the state were brutalized and dispersed with force by security operatives during a peaceful protest for the implementation of N30,000 minimum wage.
The PDP also said governance requires a positive response to decision-making in solving conflicts in a proper and functional institution by meeting the needs of the masses in a democratic manner that impact on peoples lives not brutal approach against the people meant to be protected.
It would be recalled that local government workers protesting non-implementation of the new minimum wage were dispersed by security men last week on the orders of the state government at the State Secretariat on the premise that they were preventing the state civil servants from accessing their offices, and also that state government was not responsible for their predicaments.
This was disclosed through the party’s Publicity Secretary, John Akans in Jos, the State Capital.
According to the party, “what happened to the protesting local government workers was an outrageous attack on the fundamental rights of not only the protesting workers but also all Nigerians, particularly when on a peaceful protest.
The PDP further pointed out that the governor’s statement through his commissioner for information was full of “deceit and failed to address the present realities between the civil servants and the government”.
He maintained that, “having promised the civil servants immediate implementation of N30,000 minimum wage of the state while still at the presidential villa, Abuja.
“The question now is why now referring the local government workers to the joint negotiating committee?
“Why was he in a hurry to announce full implementation of N30,000 to the press while still at the presidential villa without waiting for the outcome of the negotiating committee?
“Or was his outpouring at that time as usual to impress his ‘oga’ and the press at the Villa? The party asked.
“It is sad and shameful and disgraceful that today the state government has chosen the path of brutality against its own workers it is supposed to protect and motivate.
“Instead of accepting its failure, it has come out with not only empty, but also misleading statement to cover its deceitfulness, having failed in its responsibility”, the PDP lamented.
“It is an indisputable fact that Governor Lalong still presides over local government allocations through his commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and first-line deductions are made from the local government funds every month. Local Government chairmen are directed to contribute some amount to the state government after every joint account meeting.
“We challenge Governor Lalong to deny that the state and the local governments don’t run a joint account.
“Why will the governor be bragging that he has no hand in Local Government workers problem and that they belong to a tier of government which is not under his control”, the PDP wondered.