Abia government speaks on ‘owing Soldiers’

The Abia State government has denied a report on social media that claimed that it owes Nigerian soldiers attached to its multi-agency security task force, Operation Crush.

In a statement signed by Kazie Uko, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Alex Otti, the Abia State government dismissed the report as misleading and a total falsehood.

The Abia government, which said that it was up-to-date in meeting its obligations to the anti-crime task force, explained that the prompt payment to soldiers had been instrumental in dealing with incidents of violent crimes and dislodging kidnapping rings, especially around the Umunneochi-Uturu-Okigwe axis of the Enugu-Umuahia-Aba-Port Harcourt expressway.

The Otti-led administration blamed the social media report on “enemies of the state who lost their hold on political power,” and appealed to the general public to disregard the report that it owed the soldiers.

The state government also said that it has started the clearance of eight years of salary arrears owed staff of the Abia State judiciary.

The statement reads in part: “Only two days ago, the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), the umbrella association of judicial workers in Abia State, wrote to thank Governor Otti for living up to his promise to pay the arrears of their Consolidated Judiciary Staff Salary Structure (CONJUSS), which had remained outstanding since 2015.

“The workers, through their union leader and chairman, Oracle Chinedu Eze, expressed their gratitude to Governor Otti and the government of Abia State for fulfilling the promise of salary payments.”