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Unpaid salaries: Nasarawa civil servants break fast with water

Civil servants in Nasarawa State on Friday said that non-payment of their salaries had forced them to break their ongoing Ramadan fast with only water.

In interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Keffi, the workers called on the government to pay them their three-months outstanding salaries and other entitlements to save their families from hardship.

NAN reports that the workers began an indefinite strike on May 12 to press home their demand for payment of salary arrears, and regular promotion of workers, among others things.

A teacher, Garba Audu, said: “I am a teacher with the state Ministry of Education. For more than three months, we have not been paid our salaries, and this has caused untold hardship for us and our family members.

“To have money to buy foodstuff to break Ramadan fast is a problem. Most of us break our fast with water due to the non-payment of our salaries.’’

He appealed to the state government to meet the workers’ demands.

Another worker, Samson Dauda, of the Ministry of Works and Housing, said, “To meet my basic needs and those of my family members is a challenge. For over three months now, we have not been paid. This is not fair.’’

Hajiya Maryam Sani, who works with the state Ministry of Agriculture, told NAN, “Most of us are breaking our Ramadan fast with water, which is not supposed to be;” appealing to the government to meet the workers’ demands to alleviate their suffering.

NAN reports that Mr. A. Adeka, who was recently removed as the chairman of the workers’ union, announced the suspension of the strike on May 26, saying that the government had begun meeting the workers’ demands.

However, on May 27, Mr. Bala Umar, who replaced Adeka, told the workers not to resume work, saying that the government had yet to meet their demands.

The state governor, Tanko Al-Makura, on May 29, said that the workers were not on strike as far as he was concerned; warning that any worker who would not resume work, would be taking a risk.

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