– Blames delay of Lawmakers’ salary on Building renovation
The Special Adviser (SA) to Governor Hope Uzodinma on Political matters, Dr Batos Nwadike, yesterday, July 6, 2020, accused Imo State pensioners of allowing themselves to be used by those he referred to as the detractors and opponents of Hope Uzodinma against the government of the day. He also accused opposition political parties in the state especially the PDP of sponsoring protests against the government by claiming that pensioners are not being paid as at when due. He was reacting to the last protest march embarked upon by pensioners to back their demand for salary arrears.
Nwadike while responding to questions during an Oziza FM Radio interactive programme, said that “government is aware of some clandestine moves by the opposition parties to bring the administration of Hope Uzodinma down.We have vowed that we won’t allow the pensioners to take over government house, henceforth irrespective of their grievances”,he stated
According to Nwadike, pensioners should be told that there are security agents who could descend on them in the event, they repeat their unwarranted siege at Imo government house and it’s environs, and warned them to be careful how they constitute further nuisance in the state over unpaid pension arrears or outstanding statutory entitlements long after they had left the services of Imo State government.
Answering more questions regarding the inability of government at paying Imo lawmakers for a couple of months now, Chief Batos Nwadike reminded the radio presenter of the renovation presently going on at the Imo State House of Assembly Complex,Owerri, which he said is taking huge chunks of money from the government. He also hinted that among other things done for the house of Assembly lawmakers is the recent purchase of expensive vehicles for the members. He however did not state whether the purchased cars are free gifts to the lawmakers, who ordinarily should be enjoying some financial autonomy.
He disagreed with the assertion that the lawmakers are complaining over unpaid salaries by insisting that they are part of the government and should understand what is going on. He called on them to eschew such bitterness.
Imo State House of Assembly staff and lawmakers have for some time now been lamenting over the continued refusal of the government of Hope Uzodinma to pay them full salary at the end of each month. While some claim that they got half payment, others said they haven’t even received any salary at all for several months now.
On the side of the lawmakers, they are currently owed two (2) months salaries. The indebtedness even dragged to the 3rd month. Some of them who spoke to Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper revealed that, this is the first time in the history of Imo State that lawmakers are being owed at the end of the month, describing that as unfortunate. He wondered what happened to the financial autonomy ordered by the present government.