Employees of Nasarawa State Government in Nigeria, currently on indefinite strike since May 12, said on Friday that non-payment of their salaries makes them to break Ramadan fast with only water. Mr Bala Umar, Chairman of the workers’ union says the workers embarked on the indefinite strike over non-payment of their three months’ salary arrears and other entitlements. They are said to also be demanding regular promotion of workers, among others.
The state Govornor Tanko Al-Makura, said, on May 29, that the employees were not on strike as far as he was concerned. He warned the workers to resume work and said those who failed to return to work did so at their own risk.
Workers who pleaded anonymity for fear of recrimination accused the state government of neglecting its civil servants. They appealed to Govornor Tanko Al-Makura to meet the workers’ demands to alleviate their suffering and end the strike.
Alhaji 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. Fasting has a lot of blessings from Allah, and every Muslim is expected to partake in it; hence, the need for the state government to pay workers’ salaries.’’
Mr Samson Dauda with 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, with the state Ministry of Agriculture said:
“Most of us are breaking our Ramadan fast with water, which is not supposed to be.”