Abia State governor Okezie Ikpeazu has promised to treat workers right and clear the backlog of allowances if given another chance to govern the state for another four years.
Ikpeazu, who faces a strong challenge from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate Alex Otti, is under fire for reportedly turning Abia State into one of the worst places to work or be a pensioner in Nigeria.
But the under-performing governor, who during a governorship debate said payment of salaries was not important and “should be taken for granted”, promised civil servants on Wednesday he would pay up if he is re-elected on March 9.
WATCH: Ikpeazu says payment of salaries “should be taken for granted”
In Abia State, some workers are owed allowances dating as far back as 2017 and pensioners have not been paid for 18 months. Many others struggle on the heavy weight of prolonged salary delays.
Meanwhile, the governor found enough money to buy vehicles for council bosses tasked with bringing in the votes come Saturday. He recently fired three of them in what observers linked with the current political climate.
Abia voters are reportedly so angry with Governor Ikpeazu that they pelted him with water sachets at a church crusade.
Ikpeazu summoned civil servants on Wednesday and, through their heads of departments, reportedly ordered them to show up with their permanent voter cards without which no one can vote on Saturday.
The governor met with the workers at the Secretariat in Umuahia, the state capital. Ikpeazu also reportedly donated N10 million to the workers.
Earlier in the day, the governor distributed free kerosene to residents some of whom said that would not stop them from voting their conscience in the forthcoming governorship election.
Critics accuse Governor Ikpeazu of vote-buying.