Daniels Ekugo

Councillors and other political office holders from the 25 local government councils in the central Nigerian state of Niger on Monday protested over the failure of Governor Babangida Aliyu to settle their severance allowance amounting to N1.74 billion.Aliyu-Babangida

The 499 protesters, including vice chairmen, supervisory councillors and secretaries, besieged the state Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Minna, demanding for the payment.

Alhaji Yahaya Shehu, Chairman of the Councillors Forum in the state, who led the protesters, told newsmen that they took the option after the prolonged communication with the government on the matter had yielded no result.

“We are 274 councillors, 175 supervising councillors, 25 vice chairmen and 25 secretaries that are being owed.

“We were compelled to call an emergency meeting on 27th April 2015 over the balance of our severance and furniture allowances after many write-ups and appeals.

`’We have written several letters and paid several courtesy calls on the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, the Secretary to the State Government, Speaker of Niger state House of Assembly and the Leadership of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria.

”All we received are deceitful assurances and promises, and the total amount owed each of us is N3. 5 million,’’ he said.

The two Permanenet Secretaries for the ministry, Malam Musa Ija and Alhaji Mamman Rijau, declined comment on the matter, saying that it was only the commissioner, Mr Garba Tagwai, who has the authority to speak to the media.

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