Dissatisfied with the non-payment of over five months salaries Ekiti state workers yesterday stormed the State Secretariat in Ado-Ekiti and chased away their colleagues who resumed from the Sallah holiday.
The workers led by the former Chairmen of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Ayodeji Aluko and his counterpart in Trade Union Congress, TUC, Comrade Kolawole Olaiya, accused the government of deceit over its commitment to defray between six and ten months outstanding salaries being owed it workers.
The former labour leaders under the name “Ekiti Workers Rescue Team”, who began the protest at about 8.25am addressed the workers in front of the secretariat, where they ordered their members to leave their offices and begin an indefinite strike.
They said it was wrong for Governor Ayodele 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 Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, in a statement by its State President, Bunmi Ajimoko had earlier told his staff of their third tier across Ekiti to begin a strike yesterday, but was later called off due to undisclosed circumstances.
The workers also dissolved the state executives of the NLC and TUC, headed by Comrades Ade Adesanmi and Odunayo Adesoye respectively, alleging that they have become 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 members with cudgels. They observed a minute silence in honour of their members who had died due to financial incapacitation engendered by epileptic salary payment.
In his address to the workers, Aluko said: “Today, we are dissolving the executives of NLC and TUC in Ekiti and they stand dissolved, because their 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.
“We decided not to do 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 justa month salary because he is building infrastructure doesn’t worth being a governor.
“Today, the governor owes pensioners ten months, LG 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 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”, he said.
In another leaflet circulated by the workers under the aegis of Ekiti workers Rescue Team, they accused the labour leaders of getting a sum of N14 million as mobilization from Governor Fayose to enlist their backing for the July 14 governorship election.
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