The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has offset the 20 months salary arrears owed some categories of traditional chiefs in Kwara central senatorial district.
Though, it’s the responsibility of local government councils to pay traditional chiefs’ salaries, the affected local government areas; Ilorin East, Ilorin South and Asa could not meet their financial obligations to the monarchs because of the drastic shortfalls in their allocation from the federation account.
The 220 affected traditional chiefs received a total sum of N49,438,000.00
The beneficiaries received their salary arrears at a brief ceremony at the ABS Constituency Office in Ilorin, the state capital on Monday.
Addressing the district heads, the Director- General, ABS constituency office, Alhaji Musa Abdullahi said the senate president undertook the payment in order to provide succour for the district heads.
He said Saraki who was concerned by the plight of the community heads had earlier set up a committee to look into the issue and acted promptly on the committee’s recommendation to pay the 20 months salary arrears to the monarchs.
Abdullahi who noted the district heads are the eye of the community advised them to continue to support the Senate President to enable him attract more dividends of democracy to the state.
Releasing the stipends to the monarchs, the Chairman of Advisory Council of the ABS Constituency Office, Alhaji AbdulRaheem Olesin, said the Senate President decided to offset the arrears to alleviate the sufferings of the traditional rulers.
According to him, about N49,438,000 was paid to all the 220 affected traditional rulers in the Ilorin East, South and Asa Local Government Areas.
He said as the custodian of customs and heritage, the Senate President held the traditional institution in high esteem and decided to pay the arrears of salaries to bring succour to the beneficiaries.
Responding on behalf of the traditional rulers in Ilorin East, the Alangua Ibagun, Alhaji Jimoh Alabi, said they were elated with the gesture of the Senate President, saying that this would reduce their sufferings drastically.
Also speaking on behalf of traditional rulers from Ilorin South, the Magaji Mosudo, Alhaji Saliu Mohammed said after the meeting of the Forum of Magajis and Alanguas, the Emir of Ilorin demanded for their list and promised to talk to the Senate President on the payment of their salary arrears.
According to him, he was surprised with the step taken by Saraki, saying that majority of them had lost hope on the payment of the salary arrears.
He thanked Saraki for solely taking up the responsibility of paying them their backlog of salary arrears.