February salaries of political appointees of the Igbo-Etiti Local Government, Enugu State, are withheld until they can canvass voters for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2023 general election, FIJ has learned.
In a letter titled ‘Cessation of Salaries and Other Allowances’, dated February 28, 2023, and addressed to all local government political appointees, Ikenna Nwodo, the LGA chairman, said salaries would be paid “if need be”, only after they have provided evidence of delivering votes for the party at the polls.
The letter, signed by Donatus Ugwu, secretary to the council, read, “Be informed that salaries and allowances of all Political Appointees of the Local Government Council have been put on hold until after the elections.
“All Concerned (political appointees) are to deliver on their political mandates in their various polling units, etc. to the PDP in the elections with evidence thereafter, after which the restrictions on salaries and other allowances will be lifted, if need be.”
In a telephone interview with FIJ, Ugwu confirmed the authenticity of the letter and said they were employed by the PDP, and not the local government council.
Ugwu said, “Yes, it is accurate. The essence of the letter is to make sure those who were appointed by the government in power go and do their work, just to ginger them to go and work on their mandates.”
FIJ asked what the letter meant by they were to deliver in their polling units. Ugwu said, “It is to canvass for votes for the party that employed them, to try to speak to voters, electorates.”
When FIJ asked if this was noted in their employment letters, Ugwu said they were employed by the PDP, and not the government.
“It is not a civil service work,” he said. “The PDP employed them; they are political appointees employed by the local government chairman, and the local government chairman is working for the PDP for the purpose of this election.”
Ugwu refused to confirm if the employees were still owed one month but said the letter was clear. He said, “I know you’ve read the content of the letter. You should be able to deduce that. There’s no need for asking that. Look at the letter and you will see it.”
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