The forum of 2012 Benue State local government employee that were retrenched by current Government in Benue State have appealed to the state Governor to kindly reinstate them into local government system before the full implementation of the recently approved local government autonomy.
The affected staff have been facing serious economic hardship due to the stopage of their salary since June 2015.
In a media chat via a telephone on Friday 10th May, Comrade Abel Oche Ankeli who was also an affected staff lamented deeply the ordeals that have befallen every single affected staff in the circle of 2012 employee across the state, gave several instances where some of such staff have died due to avoidable circumstances, several others who he knew dropped out of school, children of many have died and so many are currently leaving in a miserable condition hence, passionately appeals to the good hearted governor of Benue State to display his great love for the wellbeing of Benue people and recall back to service these group of persons who are dying in silence for too long as a result of the retrenchment.
When asked on the reasons why those staffs were retrenched, the people’s voice, Comrade Abel Oche Ankeli refuted the claims that it was Political influence aimed at punishing a partial political supporters and attributes the retrenchment to the then economic melt down witnessed in 2015.
He further gave instances where various individuals and groups of such took the same issues to the court of law to seek justice for the reason that they were genuine and legally employed.
On the possible way the Government can help the issue, he advised that the local government service commission should be mandated to properly screen the affected staff using the various Local Government approval letters and the list attached to ascertain the authentic and genuine staffs which are less than 2,000 across the state. He also raised an issue where after the approval for a particular number of staff for a local government, there were numerous illegal employment made by some DGSA, council chairmen and other senior local government staffs were all back dated to 2012 there by increasing the number to unbearable burden to the newly constituted government of Samuel Ortom in 2015 that led to risen saga of ghost workers in local government system in Benue that year.
He futher adviced that, to get the authentic staff, each local government should be screened using the legal document which is the approval letter.
On whether the current state made any effort to address the issue of the affected Staff, Ankeli confirmed that series of screening was carried out but the true report never got to the Government as it was all swept under the carpet by those senior staffs whom may have collected huge amount of money from innocent Benue people, gave them back dated employment letter and if the genuine staff are separated such corrupt senior staffs may face the pain of paying back such money which may long have gone into sea. But the good news now is that most of such senior staffs have retired from service and the Government have gotten vast experience in manner of which local government administration can properly be handled so now is the right time to get it right.