Workers’ Strike Paralyses Governance in Ekiti, Offices Shut

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Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti

The industrial action declared by Ekiti State workers on Thursday paralysed governance in the state, as all government offices were under lock and key.

The workers, under the auspices of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNI), had embarked on an indefinite strike yesterday to press home series of demands from the state government.

The unions had last week Tuesday issued a 24-hour ultimatum to Governor Ayodele Fayose to pay a sum of N512 million being money deducted from December, 2015 salary or face industrial crisis.
The strike was later shelved due to the nationwide strike declared to protest hike in fuel price by the federal government.

After the suspension of the nationwide strike on Sunday night, the unions after their joint meeting of Tuesday, May 24, issued another 48 hours to the governor on the need to comply swiftly to some of their sundry demands to avert crisis, which lapsed on Wednesday at midnight.

When journalists visited the state secretariat along the new Iyin road and the old governor’s office at Oke Ori Omi, both in Ado Ekiti, the offices were deserted and were under lock and key.

Only few of the political appointees were seen doing skeletal works in their offices.
A statement signed by chairmen of TUC, Odunayo Adesoye, NLC, Ade Adesanmi and JNI Secretary, Oladele Blessing, said the strike became the last resort after they had displayed uncommon understanding over the state’s financial status.

The workers’ demands are: the release of the staff audit and verification conducted in April, 2015, disclosure of the monthly internally generated revenue, payment of arrears of salaries pension and gratuities, payment of September 2014 salary to primary school teachers, payment of 2014 and 2015 leave bonuses.

Others include: implementation of promotion of for 2013, 2014, 2015, approval of inter-cadre transfer, remission of 10 per cent IGR to local government and stoppage of Joint Allocation Committee’s account, resuscitation of local government staff pension fund and release of running grants to secondary schools and local governments.

The labour leaders said: “Your Excellency Sir, we have remained calm since these days hoping that respite will soon come our ways, but hope is becoming a mirage. Besides, there is a limit to endurance.”