Bailout: Tension in Benue as NULGE threatens showdown

By Kula Tersoo

The confusion over bailout funds in Benue state has continued unabated as Council workers have vowed to resist “anything in form of another screening.”
Blueprint recalls that when he assumed duties about six months ago, Governor Samuel Ortom ordered staff audit which was done across the state.
But since the arrival of the bailout funds to the state over a week ago, civil servants were yet again subjected to screening by a consultancy firm mandated by the state government to ascertain the actual number of the state’s workforce.
But as the verification exercise was ongoing, the House of Assembly insisted that they were not sure the handlers of the exercise; hence the resolved that they must do it themselves.

It added that it had the constitutional responsibility to investigate any matter it has powers to make laws on, including the planned staff verification exercise.
A staff of one of the local governments in the North-west senatorial district told our correspondent on phone that the chairman of their union addressed them and made it clear that they had no business with the screening.
Meanwhile, teachers in Vandeikya local government, last Thursday, descended on officials that went to screen them when some of the teachers were allegedly denied screening forms on the ground that they were “ghost workers.”
As at the time of filing in this report, all efforts made to get the state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Mr. Terungwa Igbe, to speak over the matter proved abortive as neither the several calls put to his line were answered nor a text sent to him replied.