Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari gave him a bailout of about N30.8 billion to clear salary arrears of workers in the state, insisting that his government is presently up to date in the payment of salaries.
The governor, who spoke with reporters after a meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC and all those who contested the party’s governorship primary, also asked the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to look inward in the search for those who attacked the venue of their primary election rather than blaming him.
He said: “As regard the issue of news making the round that Kogi State is owing salaries, I want to categorical state that, my two predecessors inherited salary arrears.
“It is a problem I inherited when I assumed office. But I want to announce to you today, that Kogi is not owing any worker’s salary at all. We have been able to clear all workers’ salaries and we are up to date. As a matter of fact, the last primary election that was held on August 29, we paid the salaries of August. That is to tell you that we are up-to-date as far as salary is concerned.
“The issue of us owning up to 38 months’ salary arrears before we cleared it was all false and lies. We did owe up to that, what we were owing at that time was between four to five months.
“As I speak with you now, Mr. President graciously approved a bailout of N30.8 billion for us and our national chairman seated help me to facilitate the release.”
The governor said he had fully applied the bail-out fund to clear salaries and pension arrears. “We are not owing any salary,” he said.
On the allegation by the PDP that he was behind the attack on their primary, Bello said: “I am a member of the APC and not PDP. We gave a level playing ground to all the aspirants from all political parties to carry out their activities freely within the state. They moved around the entire state and we provided security for them and ensure that they were safe.”