Muslim faithful in Taraba State will celebrate a low key Eid-el-Kabir today and tomorrow following the non-payment of their August salaries.Citing state governments that had earlier paid their workers August remunerations to enable them prepare for the festival, Muslims in the state, especially civil servants, wondered why government failed to pay their salaries.
The Guardian learnt that the situation has forced them to prepare for the festivity with as little items as they could afford for the celebration, coupled with a negative toll on business owners and traders.
Business operators who spoke with The Guardian confirmed that that the non- payment of salaries had negative effects on them, as the state is a civil servant state, which depend mainly on government and public sector activities.
A dealer on children’s wears, Sanusi Alo, said: “The truth is that our expectations have not been met because we learnt majority of customers, who are mainly civil servants have not been paid.”
Although the payment of salaries is not overdue, he argued that the state government should have acted like the neighboring states, who he said, have since paid their workers because of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.He said the late Governor Danbaba Suntai, always paid salaries during any of the Muslim festivals, adding: “With the incumbent government, the reverse has been the case.”
Civil servants, especially the Muslims, confirmed the situation has compelled them to either seek loans or buy the basic items on credit.The state Head of Service, Simeon Angyo, could not be reached for his comments on the development.
But a top government functionary who corroborated comment on condition of anonymity, said: “Although I am not the right person to comment on the issue, I think it is because the state government has not received funds from the federation account.”