The Christian Association of Nigeria has appealed to church leaders in Osun State to rally food aid and money to assist Osun State civil servants who are going through hardship because of the delay in the payment of their salaries for the past seven months.
The Chairman of CAN in Osun State, Rev. Elisha Ogundiya, said this in an interview with journalists in Osogbo on Tuesday, after the meeting of the executives of CAN in the state.
Ogundiya said that churches should go beyond feeding their congregations with spiritual food, especially at this time but should also rally round to offer them succour.
He said, “I talk about Christians and Muslims and others who are passing through hardship in Osun State because of the non-payment of their salaries for months.
“Workers are passing through hardship and some who have retired have died because of lack of money to take care of themselves. We Christians have to emulate the action of the Good Samaritan in the Bible, who assisted somebody he should not assist ordinarily. So, we should assist our brothers and sisters.
“I urge church leaders and local government chairmen in attendance to go back home, contribute food and other items to assist all these people who are in need.
“To the government, we are appealing to the government to look for whatever means to make life beautiful for these people. We know that the problem is not peculiar to Osun State alone, but this is lingering too much. The state government should do something urgently to put smile on the faces of the workers.”
He implored members of the association to be united in order to further propagate the gospel.
The Chairman of CAN in Osogbo Local Government Area, Rev. Adesola Olubadejo, thanked the leadership of the association for taking the step in the right direction.
Olubadejo said he believed that the situation was not beyond what God could rescue. He urged members to commit the state to God’s hands in prayers.
He said, “One of the challenges facing our local branch of OSLG CAN is that majority of our churches are finding it difficult to cooperate with CAN by attending meetings and paying their dues.
“We shall be grateful if heads of churches can encourage their members to participate more by giving what is CAN’s to CAN regularly and faithfully.”
It will be recalled that Pastor Olumuyiwa Emmanulel of the Winners’ Chapel, Osogbo, on Sunday made an appeal to members of the church to bring foodstuffs and money to the church for distribution to civil servants within the congregation.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students has called on the state government to find means to pay the workers their seven-month salaries without further delay.
The students body said the state should prepare for its “revolutionary movement” if the salaries were not paid by June 22.
The Chairman of Osun State axis of NANS, Mr. Lukman Adekitan, said this in a statement in Osogbo on Tuesday.
He blamed lack of sound economic management by the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola for its inability to pay workers for the past seven months.
But Aregbesola had earlier said his administration had lived within its means trying at all times to fulfil government’s financial obligation to workers.
The governor said his administration had in no way exposed the state unnecessarily to financial hardship, contrary to the accusation of financial recklessness levelled against the government in some quarters.
The governor blamed the financial hardship in the state on dwindling revenue and hike in minimum wage which started in 2012.