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Labour leaders condemn suicide over unpaid salaries by civil servants 

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Labour leaders have frowned against civil servants allegedly attempting suicide over unpaid salaries by their state governors, describing the act as a step taken too far.

A case was reported last week how officials of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) who were on patrol rescued a civil servant who attempted suicide over unpaid salaries in Kogi state. 

Explaining his ordeals and why he attempted suicide, the civil servant said he could no longer bear the shame of not able to meet basic family needs, as salaries have not been paid. 

He said: “The hardship is too much for me and I can’t cope, which is why I wanted to hang myself. For the past two years, I have not received a kobo after wasting all my money going to Lokoja for screening.”

This and more similar incident of suicides in the state by civil servants were also reported.

When The Guardian contacted some of the labour leaders, they said attempting suicide should be the last option a civil servant should resort to, stating that no matter the frustration and circumstance they should not take their lives.

The President of the United Labour Congress (ULC), Joe Ajaero who described the act as pathetic, called on unions and workers that are owed salaries should mobilise and call for immediate solidarity action by other unions, taking a collection against those that are killing workers.

He said various labour centres and unions should have a political summit to review the position of labour as it affects politics because to stand as an onlooker would be very dangerous with the current situation of things.

“It shows the level of callousness at which the governors are operating and moving forward. Any civil servant that collects money from these governors to vote for them in 2019 should be ready to commit more suicide because they will pay them back with a very bad coin.

“Civil servants should step out to vie for offices, adopt labour candidates that are labour friendly and install them to be part of the government. By so doing things would be better for them,” Ajaero said.

On his part, the Secretary-General of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Bashir Lawal described the situation as a sheer wickedness on the part of the governors. 

He said the situation could be tamed if good governance is given to the people, adding that workers are not supposed to be left in penury and denied their rights no matter the condition.

He added: “What is happening now is not the best option but the way you can absorb shock is different from the way another person can absorb it.


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FRSCJoe AjaeroULC
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