Kwara ex-councilors demand payment of allowances
Past local government legislators and executives, under the aegis of the Kwara State Ex-Councilors Forum, on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest over the non-payment of their allowances since 2019.
The ex-councilors, who were elected between 1999 to date, therefore appealed to Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to offset their unpaid entitlements.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Tuesday, the Chairman of the forum, Mr Fatai Adebayo, flanked by other members of the group, lamented that the present administration had failed to pay the entitlement as promised three years ago.
Adebayo said the ex-councilors forum has about 1,850 members and they can mobilse substantial numbers of voters during elections.
He added that the forum appreciated the pressure on the finances of the state, but urged the governor to approve and direct payment of their outstanding benefits.
He listed the outstanding allowances to include 1999-2002, 2004-2007, 2007-2010, and 2013-2016.
The chairman also appealed to the governor to ensure the payment in view of the present Ramadan celebration, and the upcoming resumption of their children in various schools.
“And should the payment be effected, the forum shall be more appreciative, and be committed to serving our communities and the government.
“We are about 1,850 in number from 1999 till date, and the arrears initially was over N3 billion, but the previous governments paid part of the amount in installments.
“We have met Governor Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq over the issue, and the leader of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Magaji Olawoyin, but nothing has come out of it yet.
“We are using this opportunity to further make our appeal to consider us for payment. The total money we are expecting now is over N350 million.
“The irony of it is that we have about 10 sitting members of the State House of Assembly as part of this forum, including the present Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Alhaji Tajudeen Aro.
“It may interest you that this forum is the bedrock of grassroots politics, and with a capacity value of over 70,000 voters in any elections.
“But as high and important as our electoral value, the government of Kwara state for the past three years has been treating us with a high percentage of neglect, and abandonment by not attending to us, and not paying us our entitlements.
“It may also interest all the members of the public and the press that during our series of meetings with some actors of this present government before the 2019 general elections, there were promises, and a strong desire on the government party to sustain our growth, development and survival,” he said.
According to Adebayo, the forum believed that the government will fulfill the promise, they mobilised all their members for the 2019 general election victories for the APC.
“After the election victories for Malam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-led government, we are more neglected than ever before.
“Our legitimate entitlements which were promised to be paid were not attended to.
“The Kwara State Ex-Councilors duly appreciate His Excellency’s efforts in alleviating poverty in the state.
“The forum is equally not happy with the government of the state for the failure to address the issue of past serving officers of local government areas in Kwara,” he said. (NAN)