The Taraba State governor-elect, Col. Agbu Kefas (rtd), and his boss, Governor Darius Ishaku, have exchanged words over the salary arrears of the civil servants in the state.
Bellnewsonline.com reports that this is coming barely one week after the conduct of the governorship election in the state.
In a statement to newsmen on Monday, Agbu had promised to clear all the salary arrears being owed by the administration of Governor Ishaku.
The governor-elect pledged to pay the backlog of the arrears within 100 days in office after his inauguration on May 29, 2023.
But in a swift reaction, Governor Ishaku stated that his administration was not owing the civil servants any salary arrears to warrant the promise from Agbu.
He disclosed this in a statement signed by his special adviser on media and publicity, Bala Dan-Habu.
Ishaku slammed the governor-elect for promising to clear salary arrears, stressing that his administration had paid the civil salaries up to date.
He stated that the veil accusation is wrong, adding that the clarification became necessary following the press statement issued on behalf of the in-coming administration.
Dan-Habu said, “The outgoing administration of Governor Darius Ishaku is not owing any group of workers in the state monthly salaries and, therefore, will not be leaving behind any burden arising from unpaid emoluments for the in-coming administration.
“This clarification became necessary following a press statement issued recently on behalf of the in-coming administration of Lt-Col Agbu Kefas (rtd), the governor-elect which contained a promise to pay salary arrears in its first 100 days.
“This veiled accusation is wrong and unnecessary. The Ishaku administration never toyed with the welfare of workers in its eight years of stewardship in the state.
“It had consistently paid their salaries since it assumed office in 2015, most of the time before the end of every month.
“We find this so-called promise to pay outstanding salary arrears made on behalf of the Governor-Elect not only misplaced but also misleading.
“It is also surprising coming from an in-coming administration widely known and regarded to be an offspring of the the present government of His Excellency, Arc Darius Ishaku, We think we needed to set the records straight, hence this rebuttal.”
When contacted by Leadership, the chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Peter Jediel, confirmed that local government workers were being owed six months’ salaries.
The NLC boss also disclosed that teachers had not been paid for four months by the Ishaku-led government.
“State workers have received their salaries to date but local government workers are owed for six months, primary school teachers four months, while over 1,000 pensioners are not in the a payroll,” he stated.