All the Councilors elected on the platform of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) in the 18 local government counciks of Edo State, on Wednesday protested the non-payment of their salaries, arrears, allowances and all other entitlements since May this year on the orders of Governor Obaseki.
They said that they are being punished for their decision to remain in the APC, which is their constitutional right instead of joining the State governor when he decamped to the PDP, on which platform he was reflected, three weeks ago.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions, the Councillors also released a statement, containing their demands, signed Mr Hon Emwinghare K. Osabuohien, convener of the protest, in which they blamed the Edo State government for their plight.
The statement said, “Today the world should know that as elected councilors numbering over ninety (90), we have not been paid our salaries since May 2020. Salaries and wages of the legislature is not a gift from the executive arm of government.
“All our rights, privileges and other entitlements have been stopped on the directive of the governor because of our democratic choice and right”.
The statement added that, ” Across the state, there have been illegal suspensions of elected and appointed government officials in 16 out of the 18 local government areas.
“A classic case is that which transpired in Uhunmwode Local Government Legislative Council with ten (10) councilors. Sanctioned by the governor, the only three (3) PDP councilors in the house sat on the 23rd of June, 2020 to suspend the seven (7) APC house members”.
They said that, “the illegal indefinite suspension, stoppage of salaries, allowances, benefits, overhead and the denial of the over 100 communities we represent of meaningful development on the basis of our political party affiliation is alien to our emerging democracy”.
The Councillors however appealed to the Governor to have a change of heart and allow their various councils to pay them all arrears of their salaries, arrears, allowances and other entitlements.