“We therefore request immediate government intervention to forestall the possibility of the hungry man becoming angry.” These are the words contained in a letter which personal aides to the delegates to the ongoing National Conference under the canopy of Forum of Aides and Drivers of National Conference 2014 Delegates, include drivers, Personal Assistants and other domestic staff addressed to the conference Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi today.
The aides are protesting over the refusal of the Conference leadership to pay them any entitlements even as they demanded allowances, food and transport.
They said that they have evidence that payments were made to support personnel of similar appointees in the past, including the National Political Bureau of March 1987 and the National Political Reform Conference of 2005.
They, therefore, asked that they should be paid.
One of them said that they have been forced to eat the crumbs from their masters’ tables after lunch served during break time.
The two-paged protest letter was signed by six of the aides and drivers who did not write their names but merely appended their signatures.
Copies of the letter were sent to President Goodluck Jonathan and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.
Each of the 492 delegates is placed on about N2.9 million per month.
The letter reads: “We were also aware that some delegates are against the payment of allowances to us in this regard. We must therefore point out that aides and drivers come from far and wide distances in this country. Usually our salaries are meagre and barely sufficient to support our families
“We have also sampled opinions and discovered that some aides and drivers sleep in the vehicles at the car parks of delegates’ hotels at the expense of their health, safety and security while their principals sleep in the comfort of their hotel rooms. Many of our members get little or no stipends in this regard.
“We state clearly here that many of our members depend on their colleagues to survive in the course of the conference. Our welfare is poor and there is no provision for food, transport and boarding. Some of us are sometimes privileged to eat the crumbs that fall off the tables of the delegates at the Justice Aloma Mukhtar Banquet Hall of the Conference venue at the mercy of the Banquet Hall personnel.
“This is not desirable considering the fact that we are all humans and fellow citizens of this great country working together to chart a course for the united existence of our great country. We therefore request immediate government intervention to forestall the possibility of the hungry man becoming angry.”