A 47-year-old civil servant, Abdullahi Uye Zhiya, from Oguma in Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi state, has allegedly committed suicide.
Zhiya, who was a Chief Store Keeper with the State Universal Basic Education Board, Oguma, killed himself by drinking a dose of a substance suspected to be poisonous chemical.
It was gathered that his frustration might be connected with the non-payment of his salaries for about 12 months. He was said to have taken the poisonous substance after complaining bitterly to a friend over his inability to feed his family.
Close family sources reveal that for over one year, life had been hard for the deceased. According to a relative, the deceased was affected by the screening exercise in the state and was being owed salaries for months.
A source close to the family said four of Zhiya’s children could no longer go to school due to his economic distress following the non-payment of his salaries.
He was also said to have a health challenge which worsened as he could not attend to it.
Recall that a director in the Kogi State Civil Service, Mr Edward Soje also allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree in Lokoja.
Soje’s body was found on a tree behind the Mammy Market at the Maigumeri Barracks, the Nigeria Army Command Record.
The 54-year-old civil servant took his life barely 10 days after his wife of 17 years gave birth to a set of male triplets in a private hospital in Abuja. The couple had been childless before then.
Soje, a Grade Level 16 Officer in the Kogi State Teaching Service Commission, was being owed 11 months’ salary arrears at the time of his death.
Meanwhile, a popular clergy in Kogi State, Rev Fr. John Femi Ogunleye, has bemoaned the leadership style of Governor Yahaya Bello, alleging that God is angry with the governor.
According to Oguleye, the state has been suffering under previous governments but Bello’s reign has brought more pains to the people of the state.
In an open letter to the governor, Ogunleye said God is not happy with Bello’s administration in Kogi State. He reminded the governor that, at the beginning of his administration, they prayed and fasted, preached against hate and religious biases and they are still praying for him to succeed. The letter reads in part:
“I acknowledge the fact that preceding governments in Kogi State did so much evil and wrong to the people. They killed primary education and secondary was not spared. Between 2008 and 2015, strike and thuggery were the reason Kogi State featured on national television and hell was let loose on our roads. Accidents and armed robbery were top on the list of litanies of the State.
“Yet those governments were the brains behind bailout fund that you have collected, they did the projects that Federal government paid for in your time. They made KSU one of the best state universities in Nigeria at some point. They paid salaries to ghosts, hawks and genuine workers and gave Lokoja water to drink.
“Yet, it was true that Kogi was in a mess. We wanted more like others and so we were shouting and praying. We heard the sound of change and the promise of abundance. We heard of a young promising man popularly known as Fair Plus. We prayed and promoted his ambition but at the primaries our hope was fractured. We heard he lost to an aged man in whom only few delighted.
“I remember, how many of my youth were wailing and groaning because a rising star had been aborted. Somehow, Fair Plus came back to lime light. And we were back to the bank of hope. Now after one full year of inactions and inhuman decisions we can not pretend anymore.
“I still know and live with pensioners, workers, who have not been paid for 17 months. Some of them are above 70 years of age. They have no means of feeding now other than begging. And there is now donors’ fatigue. If you say it is political give us a platform other than this social and free media to prove that this is not political, not tribal, and not religious.
“The tertiary institutions are dying under this government. God is not happy with this government. When King Ahab and Jezebel refused the warning of Prophet Elijah, God came to deliver the message himself. That was when Naboth’s vineyard was confiscated and the greedy King plotted and Naboth was killed. God’s anger erupted like a volcano. And Yahweh cursed the King and Jezebel. 1 kings 21: 1 and following.
“Those who can interpret this should tell those who can not. Many Naboths have died as a result of this non-payment of salaries and pension. Some people are lying to the governor that he is courageous and dogged. They make it look like he is on the right path. Hey!!! Your Excellency, you need humility to achieve your goal of new direction. I suggest that the slogan should be RIGHT DIRECTION. What we have now is new challenges and new crisis.
“We have been suffering in this State but now your reign has brought more suffering and humiliation. Our parents are being HUMILIATED BY YOUR UNFEELING AND INEXPERIENCED ACOLYTES. If you are innocent God will vindicate you. If your are not, God says humble yourself and Let My People Go! Exodus 9:1.
“God bless and touch the heart of our Governor! May God open his eyes to see the damages. Pray for him because there are Hawks who are feeding fat like maggots on the lapses of this inexperienced government. God will soon rain down salt and the maggots and worms will dissolve and be washed always in the septic tank of history.”