An engineer with Bayelsa State Water Board, Peter Ogiero, has committed suicide over what was explained as his inability to cope with life over unpaid wages.
The engineer had suffered stroke and was still battling with his situation when his wife abandoned him and ran away with their children, leaving the paralysed man to his fate which led to the deterioration of his situation.
Ogiero, a middle aged man, resorted to suicide on Tuesday after he realised that no salary would be paid to him again at the end of September.
It was learnt that the deceased, a father of four, whose only means of livelihood was his salary, allegedly succumbed to frustration over the unfortunate development by swallowing a locally manufactured insecticide called “Sniper” in the early hours of Tuesday.
Wilson, his only child that did run away with his mother and therefore cared for his sick father barely depended on charity for survival and to care for his incapacitated father.
When our correspondent visited the Ogieros’ residence in Okaka area of the metropolis on Thursday, the deceased’s relations, who wore forlorn looks, could only stutter before they could narrate how the deceased lived in penury and died out of frustration.
A niece of the deceased, who gave her name as Tina, said the deceased had been suffering from stroke for over 12 months.
Tina said, “The stroke was caused by too much of thinking due to the fact that the state government has owed him (deceased) salaries for 13 months.
“This state of affairs has caused a lot of issues in the deceased’s home. At a point, when his wife could no longer bear the situation, she had to run away from home with his three children to their village.”
Tina said Wilson and she were staying somewhere else before and only came on the directive of their families to take care of Ogiero when it was discovered that his wife, who was living with him, abandoned him in his trying times.
“That was how Wilson and I came to Yenagoa to take care of him. We least expected that he was going to die just like that,” Tina explained.
Ogiero’s colleague at the water board, who identified himself simply as Raymond, also corroborated Tina’s account.
Raymond said, “My friend was strong and healthy before the state government stopped paying us salaries. The situation led to his frustration and this in turn led to an increase in his blood pressure which later resulted in stroke that worsened his frustration”.
“As of now, we are being owed 13-months salaries. The head of our agency has made several efforts in writing and appeals to the state government to pay our salaries and allowances but to no avail.”
He said it was not just only him and the deceased that were owed, it also affected over 150 workers in the corporation.
He said some of them had worked in the board for more than 15 years, wondering why the government was so indifferent to their plight. -Thisday