Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the September 19 governorship election in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday flayed the alleged non-payment of three-month allowances to the State COVID-19 Mobile Screening Team by the state government.
This was as members of the State COVID-19 Team yesterday staged a protest in Benin, the state capital, to denounce the Governor Godwin Obaseki’s administration for failure to pay their allowances for the past three months and abrupt cancellation of the programme without payment of the outstanding allowances. Director of Communication and Media of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation, John Mayaki, in a statement, described the action of the state government towards the screening team as “callous, inhumane, and unacceptable.”
But the state government yesterday said that the frontline workers temporarily engaged for screening and testing for COVID-19 would be paid their outstanding allowance immediately after the vetting of their payroll was concluded. Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, in a statement, said the taskforce was demobilised after the state exceeded its target to screen and test over 500,000 and 5,000 persons respectively. Ize-Iyamu, however, demand ed immediate payment of the allowances and an apology by the state government, even as hereassuredthescreeningteam of his solidarity and support to ensure that all their demands were met without any retributive actions.
The statement reads in part: “We observed today with concern the protest staged by young men and women of our state engaged by the Obasekiled state government to form the mobile team that conducted screenings for COVID-19 in Edo State over Governor Godwin Obaseki’s refusal to pay their allowances for three months.”