A 59-year-old employee of the Ekiti State Civil Service, Bolarinwa Olaoye, has allegedly committed suicide within the premises of the state secretariat in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
The lifeless body of the civil servant was found hanging from the noose formed with a piece of cloth tied to the railing of the block of the Ekiti State Scholarship Board within the precinct of the Ministry of Education Building in the early hours of Wednesday.
According to reports, Mr Olaoye, a father of five, who was a night guard attached to the scholarship board, reported for duty on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Although the reasons behind the incident were yet to be unravelled by the police, his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Babalola, hinted that he visited her house shortly before the incident, lamenting his financial condition.
It was gathered that the deceased, who hails from Igogo Ekiti, Moba Local Government Area of the state, was engaged in commercial motorcycle work and farming to augment his meagre salary.
“He came to me around 4.30 p.m. on Tuesday and started lamenting that his house rent was due and that he could not pay due to irregular salary payment,” Ms Babalola explained.
“He said he was also indebted to the government through housing and car loans he obtained.
“He also complained about his inability to meet other financial commitments to his wife’s family. He told me he could go ahead and do something nasty. He told me clearly that he was tired of life.
“I tried to persuade him not to resort to anything nasty. I told him life is full of ups and downs and that he should just endure, but I never knew he would end this way.”
The Executive Secretary of the Ekiti State Scholarship Board, Ayo Ajimati, confirmed that the deceased was a member of staff of the board.
“Yes, he was our staff. He was a very prayerful, jovial and amiable person. I don’t understand what led to this. I don’t know the kind of problem he had that could lead to this,” said Mr Ajimati.
There were initial arguments over the body as some persons argued that he would not be brought down until certain rituals were conducted. However, the body was later brought down by the police after members of his family were contacted.
Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti State Command, Caleb Ikechukwu, confirmed the incident and noted that the body had been deposited at the state mortuary after doctors confirmed he was dead.
“Yes, we received a distress call from citizens, and the police were immediately deployed to the scene where a 59-year old male, who was a guard at the state scholarship board was found hanging,” said Mr Ikechukwu.
He added that investigations had started to unravel the actual cause of death.
Reacting to the development, the Ekiti State Government said it was touched by the death of Mr Olaoye, and vowed to ensure that workers welfare occupied a place of priority in the business of the administration.
“It is unfortunate that this happened,” said Mr Olayinka Oyebode, Chief Press Secretary to the Ekiti State Governor. “That is why the new administration is making all efforts to ensure that salaries of workers are paid as and when due.”
He said the government was making efforts to pay workers’ November salaries and gradually clear the backlogs of payments, adding that it would take some time before the entire arrears were cleared.
“We are trying to ensure that workers are never owed salaries again in Ekiti State,” Mr Oyebode noted.
“We are returning to the days before the 2014 elections when workers earned their salaries regularly.”
He noted that the government would follow due process to ensure the family of the deceased was supported and comforted.