Members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Irepodun Local Government Area chapter in Osun State, protesting non-payment of some entitlements due to them had reportedly attacked the chairman of the council, Mr Adegoke Ogunsola, and seized his official vehicle.

The official vehicles of the council’s secretary and that of the vice-chairman were also reportedly impounded and kept within the council secretariat by the protesting workers.

A staff member in the local government, who wanted to be anonymous said that the protest started on Thursday and continued on Friday, saying the staffers were displeased because the political leadership refused to pay the claims already approved for those that returned to class for further studies, as well as end-of-the-year welfare package for the workers.

He also confirmed the seizure of the official vehicles of the chairman, secretary and vice-chairman during the protest, adding that a member of the state House of Assembly representing Irepodun State Constituency, Mr Nasiru Olateju, had initiated moves to resolve the crises.

The chairman of the council, Ogunsola, confirmed that there was a protest during which his car and those of two other political office holders were seized by the workers.

In his statement, “We didn’t owe them (workers) any entitlements. Before we came, there have been some monetary claims for those who engaged in one academic pursuit or the other. Usually, it is a practice that the council will assist them whenever funds are available to do such a programme. By the time I came, they brought some payment vouchers approved by the previous administration and I promised them that when we have money to settle all those, we will settle them.

“They asked for some benefits for the end of the year. They said they wanted to celebrate the end of the year and brought high figures for the gifts they wanted to give to members of NULGE. I asked them to reduce the money because there is a paucity of funds. They reduced the cost and last week Monday, they brought a proposal and I initiated it. Till this moment, they have not brought the file for my approval. Last week Thursday, there were disruptive activities. I was in town when someone called that there was a crisis in the local government and I drove down.

“When I got there, I saw some members of NULGE struggling with the secretary to the local government; they wanted to collect his car keys. I asked the secretary to release the keys. In the process, they entered my car and drove to the local government because I met them at the gate. I trekked to the council and I tried to address them but they were not ready to listen to me. They said we didn’t settle their claims and end-of-the-year party, but we paid severance allowance for the past political officeholders. They insisted we would not go in our cars. So they seized the car of the vice-chairman and deflated its tyres. They did the same thing to the car of secretary.”

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