Why Benue Workers Returned Ortom To Office - NLC (Image Credit: Punch Newspapers)
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State (Image Credit: Punch Newspapers)

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Benue State chapter, has said it returned Governor Samuel Ortom to power because of how he handled the issue of unpaid salaries in the state.

Concise News reports that Chairman of the Congress, Godwin Anya discloses this during his speech to mark Workers’ day in Makurdi on Wednesday.

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He explains that it would also be easier to tackle the issue of unpaid salaries with the Ortom administration instead than another government.

Anya argues that now that labour has fulfilled its part of the bargain by voting the Governor, it has become necessary for him to also fulfil his part of the social contract by paying workers their unpaid emoluments.

He says, “Recall your Excellency that during the period of campaigns, you visited the Labour House and solicited for the support of Benue workers in your quest for the reelection bid.

“I wish to officially inform you that Benue workers accepted your appeal and voted massively for you; that is why today you have been returned.

“The reason why we voted for you was simple and that you are the one who is owing us and you understand the issues on the ground, therefore, we are convinced that it will be easier tackling these issues with your administration.

“Your Excellency, let me remind you that we have kept our own part of the bargain of that social contract in which you entered with us through a ‘gentlemen agreement,’ and it’s now left for you to also keep your side of the deal by paying us everything that you are owing us.”

However, he points out that since both government and labour were in a celebration mood, soon after his inauguration, there would be the need for both to sit together and find lasting solutions to issues bordering on the welfare of workers.

The issues he says that labour would bring to the negotiation table include salary arrears of state and local government workers as well as primary school teachers; the new minimum wage; pensions and gratuity as well as 65 years retirement age of non-teaching staff in tertiary institutions among others.

Thus, Anya charges workers in the state to demonstrate more commitment, dedication and honesty in the discharge of their duties.