Unpaid Salary: Ekiti Workers Enforce Strike, Chase Away Colleagues

Governor Ayodele Fayose
Governor Ayodele Fayose

Unhappy at the lukewarm attitude of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State to the payment of their salary arrears, some angry Ekiti workers, Thursday, stormed the State Secretariat and forcefully chased away their colleagues who resumed their duty posts in Ado Ekiti.

The workers, under the aegis of Ekiti Workers Rescue Team, said it was wrong for Governor Fayose, who accused former Governor Kayode Fayemi of insensitivity for owing one month salary in 2014 to have betrayed the trust and confidence the workers reposed in him that earned him victory in 2014.

The Workers, who were led by former Chairmen of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Mr. Ayodeji Aluko and his counterpart in Trade Union Congress, TUC, Mr. Kolawole Olaiya, accused the state government of deceit over its commitment to defray between six and ten outstanding salaries being owed.

The aggrieved workers began the protest at about 8.25am where they ordered their members to leave their offices and began an indefinite strike.

The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, in a statement by its State President, Bunmi Ajimoko, had earlier told the staff of their plans to begin a strike, yesterday, but later it called off due to undisclosed circumstances.

Angry workers remove NLC, TUC leaders

The irate workers also dissolved the state executives of the NLC and TUC, headed by Comrades Ade Adesanmi and Odunayo Adesoye respectively, accusing them of being passive and shying away from carrying out their responsibilities as labour leaders.

The leaders had hardly ended their speeches when the workers stormed the offices and started chasing away their colleagues with cudgels.

They also observed a minute silence in honour of their members who had died due to financial incapacitation engendered by epileptic salary payment.

Addressing the workers, Aluko said: “We are dissolving the executives of NLC and TUC in Ekiti and they stand dissolved, because our leaders, Ade Adesanmi and Odunayo Adesoye, have lost their values. They are no longer talking about the welfare of the workers they were expected to defend.

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“We decided not to embark on this protest before election, so that they won’t read political meanings to it. Workers have died, just because they are not paid. In 2014, Governor Fayose said any governor who owed just a month salary because he is building infrastructure doesn’t worth being a governor.

“Today, the governor owes pensioners 10 months, local government workers eight months and civil servants and teachers are owed six months. We are not fighting Governor Fayose but he must pay the workers.

“Shortly after the election, Fayose quickly paid six month salaries and furniture allowances of political office holders, then what becomes of our teeming workers?

“It was sad that Adesanmi and Adesoye decided to give Fayemi three months moratorium to pay workers when he assumed office, when they were practically doing nothing to ensure that Governor Fayose doesn’t leave office a debtor governor as he promised.

“We, hereby, declare indefinite strike commencing from today and only the national secretariats of both TUC and NLC can negotiate on our behalf, because we no longer trust the State leaderships of the two congresses.

Ekiti govt reacts

When our reporter contacted Mr. Lanre Ogunsuyi, the Ekiti State Commissioner for Information, he said the head of service should be contacted on the industrial action adding that politicians are not on strike in the state.