Olubunmi Abraham, a staff of the Health Department of Mopamuro Local Government Council of Kogi State was buried at the Okeguru Cemetery in Mopamuro Local Government Area of Kogi State on Saturday, February 4, 2017 after she was found dead following her alleged abduction by bandits on her way to Lokoja, Thursday.
According to Signal, Mrs. Abraham was declared a ghost worker by Governor Yahaya Bello’s workers screening exercise which prompted her to make a case to the Post-Screening Review Committee set up by the state government to review complaints by affected workers.
Mrs. Abraham was then invited to Lokoja for the screening exercise and embarked on a trip to the state capital on Thursday February 2nd, 2017.
According to reports, Mrs. Abraham was abducted by suspected kidnappers alongside two other individuals who accompanied her on the trip to Lokoja. Her body was later found around Obajana road. The whereabouts of the two other kidnapped individuals remain unknown at the time of this report.
Mrs. Abraham was interred at the Okeguru Cemetery in Mopamuro Local Government Area of Kogi State, Saturday morning as her relatives and close family members wept uncontrollably.
In a similar development, on 17th September 2016, Hajia Saidatu Usman Pele, the wife of the Kogi East Zonal Chairman of the PDP, died in a fatal road accident on the Lokoja-Ayingba road on her way to Lokoja for the same screening exercise.
There are many more cases of such deaths by Kogi citizens who are not prominent and reports about their deaths never make it to the newsrooms.
Governor Bello has come under harsh public criticisms for “sending many Kogi State citizens to their early graves on the account of the superfluous and prolonged screening”.
According to the opposition PDP, the discharging of about 70 percent of the state workforce was the height of mischievousness by the Bello-led APC government against its citizens.
The PDP in a statement issued by the director of Research and Documentation, Dickson Achadu, said “The trauma and confusion the screening report has caused citizens of the state is unprecedented. The number of deaths caused by the government during the failed screening exercise that lasted over a year and the sacking of about seventy percent of the Labour force of the state … is the height of wickedness by the government against its citizens.”
On its part, the state legislature, which condemned the act during plenary session, called on the governor to commence payment of the state workers and suspend the screening report forthwith.
The House unanimously upheld the motion moved by Friday Makama (Igalamela/Odolu state constituency) to condemn the government’s decision.
“The need to save the souls of civil servants at both State and Local Government Levels is urgent. I am therefore constrained to move this motion considering the overwhelming evidences of non-payment of state and local government workers in the state,” Makama stated.
Popular Kogi State socio-political activist and Convener of the PDP NYF, Comrade Usman Okai Austin told the online newspaper, “Governor Bello’s efforts to produce ghost workers in Kogi State is already yielding its predicted results. Many Kogi workers have been turned to actual ghosts after losing their lives to Governor Bello’s demonic screening exercise.”
In various instances, several Kogi State workers have been reported dead in the course of traveling to the state capital for the Post-Screening exercise either as victims of armed robbery attacks or road accidents.
Reacting to complaints and criticisms targeted at the screening exercise, Governor Bello said the exercise was necessary to make the civil service more “effective, efficient and productive”.
This story originally appeared on Signal.