By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Irked by Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose’s alleged lukewarm attitude towards the payment of arrears of their salaries, local government workers in the state are proceeding on an indefinite strike.
Acting under the aegis of the Ekiti State Council of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), the workers said the industrial action would commence from August 23.
Their decision to stay away from work was reached at an emergency
NULGE State Executive Council (SEC) meeting held last Friday at the union secretariat in Ado Ekiti.
In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, a copy of which was made available to the media yesterday, the state NULGE condemned Fayose’s intention to employ 2,000 new workers when those who are already in the system are being owed arrears of salaries.
According to the communique, “The Ekiti State branch NULGE at its meeting held on August 17, 2018, wish to remind the government that out of the four demands of the union in its communique issued on July, 25, 2018, only one of them was partially attended to; which is less than five per cent of our total demands.
“The union wishes to reiterate that in spite of our agitation, the government only paid up to December 2017 salary while seven months are yet unpaid.
“It is evident now that the government is insensitive to the workers’ plight because the union has it on good authority that the government is planning to add to the burden of the local governments by recruiting more hands into the teaching sector.
“In view of the above, the State Executive Council (SEC) in session, therefore, directs all members of the union to stay at home indefinitely fromAugust 23, 2018, until further directive by the union.”
Meanwhile, the state All Progressives Congress (APC) has said attempt by Fayose to increase the workforce by over 2,000 staff composed mainly of his supporters after losing the election is not only an afterthought, but an act of wickedness and insensitivity to the plights of Ekiti people.
A statement in Ado-Ekiti by the APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said the party cannot fathom the rationality to hire an additional 2,000 new hands composed of only PDP members when the governor has always complained of not having money to pay workers who are being owed salaries arrears of between six and 10 months while pensioners are unpaid for 11 months.
Warning that the incoming administration will not accept Fayose’s plot to destroy Ekiti State and the people, Olatunbosun said: “It is on record that Fayose has run the state aground having subjected the state to N117billion debts with nothing to show for them except enriching himself and immediate family.