By Toyin Durosinlohun, Ilorin
Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed has described the decisionÂ of a rights advocacy group, to include him in a petition to theÂ International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged non payment of salaries
to workers.Reacting to the decision of the Socio-Economic Rights andÂ Accountability Project (SERAP) to petition court, Ahmed in s statementÂ issued in Ilorin said the move is ill-informed and misdirected as well
as an attempt to whip up sentiments on an issue of national concern.
Ahmed described the action as baseless and lacking a foundation inÂ fact as Kwara State is up to date in the payment of salaries to stateÂ civil servants and pensioners.
The governor stressed that SERAP may have been referring to the localÂ government councils in the state, which receive separate allocationsÂ from the federal government and have varying degrees of staff andÂ pension arrears.
Ahmed said despite drop in monthly allocation from N3.2b to N800m, the Â state government has sustained payment of its civil servants andÂ pensioners through prudent management of resources and revenueÂ reforms.
He said he is currently working with local government chairmen in theÂ state to redress salary arrears at that tier of government throughÂ measures such as the proposed takeover of Junior Secondary School
funding by the state to reduce the financial pressure on localÂ governments.
He, therefore, wondered why SERAP will refer an issue involvingÂ contractual obligation between a government and its workers to the ICCÂ which deals with criminal matters and settles legal disputes submittedÂ to it by sovereign states.
The state governor pointed out that while the said LG pension andÂ salary delays are unfortunate and painful, the issue is reflective ofÂ the financial gridlock currently confronting the country and is
neither intentional nor criminal in nature.