LEPERS THREATEN PROTEST IN ABEOKUTA NORTH OVER NON-PAYMENT OF STIPENDS, WANT INTERVENTION OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT

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ANGRY lepers in Ogun State have sent a warning signal to the government that it would embark on protest next week over their mounting unpaid allowances. According to the lepers, government had failed to pay them their N10, 000 monthly stipends in the last eight months. Their threat was contained in a statement issued on Friday in Abeokuta. It was signed by Hammed Jimoh (Chairman) and Lukman Folorunsho (Secretary). The peeved lepers accused Abeokuta North Local Government of showing non-challant attitude over the payment.
While bringing the attention of the Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, to their pitiable situation, the inmates of the Lepers Colony, Iberekodo, threatened that if their stipends are not paid within a week, they would invade the council headquarters and disrupt economic and vehicular activities on the streets in the Abeokuta metropolis. The inmates also urged Amosun to use the period of the 40th anniversary of the creation of the state to raise their monthly stipend. “We want to draw the attention of His Excellency to non-readiness, non-willing and non-interest of Abeokuta North Local Government Area to pay our members receiving stipends of N10, 000 each from local government area since May 2015,” they said in the statement. They cried out that the refusal to pay their survival money had caused the death of two of their members during the Christmas period.The death, they emphasised, was linked to hunger due to non-payment of the stipends. They said: “Several write up, yielded no response and visits to stakeholders proof (sic) abortive. Complain remains no allocation henceforth coming to local government area. “It is disheartening to note that since then two of our members receiving stipends from local government area had lost their lives during Christmas period due to hunger.” “The Christmas and the New Year was celebrated in hunger,” the inmates bemoaned. In this respect, according to the lepers, Amosun should intervene by directing the local government area to pay the outstanding stipends as a matter of urgency, within a week of appeal.They declared: “We lepers are ready to relocate to Akomoje (Abeokuta North) Local Government Secretariat as a place of abode, after one week if nothing is done.”

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