Thursday 30 March 2017

Unpaid Salary: Father of seven commits suicide

A 42-year-old father of seven and local government worker, Gbemede Kitchen, was on Thursday morning found hanging in his apartment in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

Mr. Kitchen, who until his death was a staff of Ekeremor Local Government Area, was speculated to have taken his own life out of frustration resulting from his unpaid salaries.

Local governments in Bayelsa reportedly owe their workers between six and 12 months’ arrears of salaries.

The body of Mr. Kitchen was reportedly discovered by his children hanging by a rope formed from a bed shit tied to the roof in the apartment he shared with his family at Imgbi Road, Amarata, Yenagoa.
Benjamin Samuel, caretaker of the house where the deceased was a tenant, described the development as shocking. He said the victim did not show any indication of anxiety before the incident.

“We charged mobile phones together in the night of the Wednesday; Mr. Kitchen’s children were around last night, but the wife was not around.

“Though, I saw him making calls before and after charging his phone in search of his wife before the night fall, the wife was nowhere to be found.
“I am their caretaker, it was a big surprise and shock to me; I never believed that my own neighbour could be a victim of suicide.

“I was sleeping before his children and other neighbours started shouting this morning; they woke me up and I rushed to his apartment.

“He died in a room that the children are not sleeping in; I was the one that untied and brought him down; I tried to see if he could breathe again, I pressed and poured him water but all to no avail,” the caretaker said.

Also speaking, a woman who only identified herself as elder sister to the deceased, said Mr. Kitchen had never disclosed any of his problems to family member.

She said the victim was a former councillor in their local government, stating that she was surprised to see her brother kill himself.

“He was a civil servant in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa, though the salary was not forthcoming. I guess he died out of frustration and hunger,” she said.

(Premium Times)

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