From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
An aide of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun, Hassan Abiodun, is dead.
Abiodun allegedly died because he could not treat himself as a result of the delay in salary payment, Allen Chongo, his colleague, told newsmen in the National Assembly, yesterday.
The late Abiodun’s colleagues protested his death, delay in salaries and non-payment in the main lobby of the National Assembly.
As early as 10:00am, yesterday, legislative aides in their numbers, protested Abiodun’s death to Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who was on the way to the chamber for the day’s plenary.
As soon as legislative aides saw Saraki walk into the lobby of the White House, they presented their case to him.
In return, Saraki assured them he would look into the matter.
His Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, later told newsmen his boss has summoned the management of the National Assembly, to resolve the issue.
Regardless, before that intervention, the legislative aides carried placards which had Abiodun’s obituary.
Some of the placards read: ‘NASS please pay our entitlements, no DTA for two years’.
Earlier, Chongo told newsmen Abiodun died due to “ruptured appendicitis” and explained that the delay in salary payment prevented his late colleague from going to the hospital, as he needed N165,000 for treatment.
“He was actually waiting for salaries to be paid, for him to go to the hospital, but, because of the delay in the payment of salaries, he passed on.
“So, we, as his colleagues, gathered to mourn him and let the management know we are not happy over what happened and that they should also ensure that our salaries and entitlements are paid and salaries be paid promptly.
“At times, when the month ends, we don’t get paid till the second, third week of the other month. Salaries have been delayed for a month now; it has been a constant policy that every end of the month which is natural that we collect our salaries, we don’t get that until the second or third week of the next month.
“As I talk to you right now, most of our colleagues have not been paid salaries. Some of them started getting as yesterday, but, some of us, like me, personally, I have not been paid.
“The problem is with the management, I think is a deliberate policy to thwart our effort. We have been dialoguing with the management and every time, they tell us that they are looking into it. And, up till now, nothing has been done. The result of it is losing our colleague.”
He also said their accounts should be removed from a new generation bank “because we think they are part of the people causing this delay in payment of our salaries.”
Daily Sun gathered that Abiodun worked directly with the Chief of Staff to the Speaker, Bimbo Daramola, but Lasun’s Chief Press Secretary, Wole Oladimeji confirmed the deceased was his boss’ staff.
Oladimeji described Abiodun’s death as sudden and explained that he was hale and hearty when he was last seen in the office last Wednesday.
“He showed no signs of being sick or indisposed when he was in the office last Wednesday.
“It wasn’t expected when we were alerted on Friday by his friends that he didn’t survive an emergency surgery after he complained of severe stomach pains last Thursday night, Oladimeji said.