The hope of Osun muslim civil servants to celebrate this year’s Eid-il-kabir (Sallah) colourfully and satisfactorily was dashed as the government of the state had failed to clear the salary arrears of its workforce as pledged after receiving the N35 billion bailout from the Federal Government.
An impeccable source disclosed to ENCOMIUM Weekly that majority of the workers went home disappointed on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 when they couldn’t see the alerts for the rest of the months as promised by Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
And this, we were told, affected the plans of the workers for the festival as majority of them couldn’t buy ram or go for expensive and colourful dresses as usual.
“Osun workers, especially muslims among them couldn’t celebrate this year’s sallah as anticipated. They were all waiting for the rest of their salary arrears pledged by Governor Aregbesola but they were all disappointed when they couldn’t see any alert as at Wednesday, September 23, 2015.
“And to worsen the case, most of them had settled outstanding debts from the previous payments made earlier in the week, expecting subsequent ones to be paid latest on Wednesday of same week. But reverse was the case. This really affected their plans for the sallah. Majority of them couldn’t afford rams, instead they just opted for fowls which is unlike them.
“They were not happy at all with the governor, having known that he had collected the promised bail out from the Federal Government and yet he refused to pay them fully as promised. Government still owes them about five months salaries now as September has also ended.”
One of the workers, Mr. Tajudeen also confirmed this, adding that they were left with no option than to cut their coat according to their cloth during the festival.
“It’s true most people couldn’t slaughter ram for Sallah this year in Osun, especially those of us workers. We only collected two months at the local government level while the state workers collected three months’ salary arrears. Things are really tough as Aregbesola has refused to clear all the salary arrears of workers in the state. Most of us muslims could only afford fowls. We believe by next year, things will be better.”
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s efforts to get Aregbesola’s reaction on the issue proved futile as all the calls put through to the mobile phone of his media man, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon couldn’t go through. We also sent him a text, all to no avail.
- TADE ASIFAT