A 47-year-old man, Abdullahi Uye Zhiya, from Oguma in Bassa local government area of Kogi state has taken his own life allegedly over non-payment of 12 months salaries in the state. Zhiya reportedly killed himself after lamenting bitterly to a friend that he can no longer afford to take care of his wife and children due to the 12 months salaries owed by the state government. The Sun newspaper reports that Zhiya, the chief store officer at the state Universal Basic Education, Oguma, who was said to have killed himself early this week did not leave a suic*de note, before drinking a liquid substance suspected to be poisonous chemical. According to a source close to the family, four of Zhiya’s children could no longer go to school due to his economic distress caused by the non-payment of his salaries.
The deceased before his death could no longer afford to buy medications for his health challenge that turned for the worst, and he was being taunted by those he owed money.
However, some of his relatives indicated that though the deceased was owed 12 months salaries it was not enough for him to end his life abruptly. Another family source said: “Zhiya may not have taken his life because of his economic challenges ,there seemed to be other challenges which he refused to disclose. “We suspected that what happened has a spiritual undertone. The deceased at some point became withdrawn, but even when we asked he was never forthcoming but the frustration of staying for months without salaries contributed a lot.” Zhiya would not be the first civil servant in Kogi state to have killed himself allegedly over the non-payment of salary in the state. Barely a month ago, NAIJ.com reported that a director in the Kogi state civil service, Edward Soje, allegedly committed suic*de by hanging himself on a tree in Lokoja, the state capital. The 54-year-old civil servant decided to take his life barely 10 days after his wife of 17 years gave birth to a set of male triplets in a private hospital in Abuja
The couple had been childless before then. Soje, a Grade Level 16 Officer in the Kogi State Teaching Service Commission, was being owed 11 months’ salary arrears as at the time he took his life.
However, the state government denied that Soje’s death was in anyway related to non-payment of salary in the state. The state government on Sunday, October 22, said Soje, was last paid salary in December 2016 because of age falsification. Deborah Ogunmola, the state’s head of service, who claimed to be related to Soje’s wife said there was no evidence that he killed himself because he had not been paid.