Workers in the employ of Ekiti State government yesterday staged a protest against the inability of the government to offset the backlog of salaries owed them. The visibly angry workers stormed the State Secretariat in Ado Ekiti and chased away their colleagues who have resumed to their duty post , instructing them to embark on indefinite strike. The workers also dissolved the state executives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) headed by Comrades Ade Adesanmi and Odunayo Adesoye respectively, alleging that they have become passive and shying away from their responsibilities as labour leaders. Led by former chairmen of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayodeji Aluko and Trade Union Congress(TUC) Comrade Kolawole Olaiya, the workers accused the state government of deceit over its plan to defray between six and 10 months outstanding salaries being owed. The former labour leaders under the auspices of Ekiti Workers Rescue Team , who began the protest at about 8.25am addressed the workers in front of the secretariat and ordered their members to leave their respective offices and begin an indefinite strike. They said Governor Ayodele Fayose , who accused former Governor Kayode Fayemi of insensitivity for owing one month salary in 2014 have betrayed the trust and confidence the workers reposed in him that earned him victory in 2014.
The state chapter of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), in a statement by its state president, Bunmi Ajimoko had earlier told council workers across the state to go on strike yesterday, but was later called off due to undisclosed reasons. The leaders were still reading their speeches when the workers stormed the offices and started chasing away their members with cudgels. The workers observed a minute silence in honour of their members who had died due to poor financial state as a result of the unpaid salaries . Aluko while addressing the workers 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 just a month salary because he is building infrastructure doesn’t worth being a governor.
“Today, the governor is owing 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 he assumes 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.
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