11 months salary arrears push Kogi worker to take own life
The nonpayment of his salary for 11 months has forced a director in the Kogi State civil service, Mr Edward Soje, to take his life through hanging on a tree in Lokoja, the state capital.
It was a pitiful sight as the lifeless body of Soje was found dangling on a tree behind the mammy market, at the Maigumeri Barracks, housing the Nigeria Army Command Record.
Workers in Kogi State had embarked on strike over nonpayment of salaries for the past one month, bringing most government activities to a halt. The recent tragedy happened barely 10 days after the victim’s wife gave birth to a set of male triplets in a private hospital in Abuja, after 17 years of childlessness.
Before ending it all, the late Soje had travelled to Abuja, where he dropped a suicide note for the wife, who also works in one of the federal ministries. Soje, who hailed from Ogori town in Ogori -Magongo local government council of the state, was a Grade Level 16 Officer in the Kogi State Teaching Service
Commission and was 11 months salary arrears at the time he took his life.
In the suicide note, he simply wrote: “Psalm 121:3 God will not suffer your foot to be moved: He that keepeth you will not slumber. Amen. You and the three boys, the God Almighty keep and prosper you, amen. I love you.”
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP William Aya, said the dangling body of Soje was found on a tree behind the barracks at about 5:55 pm on October 16, explaining that the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Area D division received information about the incident from the military intelligence office in the barracks.
“Police moved to the scene, removed the corpse to the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja. Investigation is ongoing,” Aya said, adding that nothing was found on the deceased to help link up his address and family.
However, it took a search party organised by relations and friends, to stumble on his corpse at the morgue of the hospital on October 20. Family sources said the late Soje had before the incident been going through a lot of financial stress, noting that he was unlucky to be among thousands of civil servants being owed between two and 21 months arrears by government.
In an effort to meet up with his financial obligations, it was gathered that the victim had earlier sold his only car and a three-bedroom bungalow he was constructing at
Otokiti area of Lokoja.
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