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Booby Trap: Fayemi, Fayose Renew Hostility As Govt Sacks 2,000 Workers



MUYIWA OYINLOLA in this report writes that the 2,000 workers sacked Thursday by Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, are victims of the booby trap set for him by his predecessor in office, Ayodele Fayose.

The sack of 2,000 workers Thursday by Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, did not come as a surprise to political watchers in the state.

The affected 2,000 workers included 600 teachers recruited into the Teaching Service Commission, 400 personnel employed into the State Universal Basic Education Board and 1,000 injected into the system through the Office of Establishment and Training, among others.

LEADERSHIP WEEKEND recalled that the governor had cautioned his predecessor, Ayodele Fayose, against the recruitment of the workers which was hurriedly done a few weeks to the end of his administration and after the incumbent had won the July, 2018 gubernatorial election.

Fayemi’s Media Office, then as Governor-elect, for instance, warned the management of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, to stop colluding with Fayose to embark on illegal mass employment at the college in exclusive favour of the latter’s supporters.

A statement issued by his then Director of the Media Office, Wole Olujobi, said such exercise was aimed at sabotaging and crippling the succeeding administration from the outset.

The statement added that there were similar plans by Fayose for other agencies and institutions of the state government where he planned to dispense favours to only members of his party, warning that political consideration in public recruitment scheme is illegal and would be so treated upon assumption of office by Fayemi.

“We wish to caution the management of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, and other institutions of government on the danger of conniving with an administration that has refused to employ just one man in about four years to now choose to embark on mass recruitment of supporters for the purpose of crippling the incoming administration at a time that Fayose’s administration is owing backlog of salaries with no hope of payment till the end of his administration.

“We hereby alert the people of Ekiti State to this clear act of sabotage which the management of the college is trying to execute on behalf of Governor Fayose to intentionally cripple the smooth running of the administration of the college when the new administration comes on board, particularly coming at the time that subvention to the college has not been paid for a long while research and capital funding has been abandoned”, the statement read in part.

But Fayose went ahead with the recruitment of the 2,000 workers. This was in spite of the fact that his government was at that time owing about seven months of salaries, besides a total debt profile of over N155.79bn he left behind for the state.

However, the decision to sack the workers was arrived at after deliberations by the State Executive Council on the report of the committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, that reviewed irregular appointments made between 2014 and 2018. The government said the recruitment exercise violated due process.

Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Values Orientation, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, who addressed reporters on Thursday, said the appointments were null and void because they were done hurriedly with ulterior motives and in bad faith.

He stated that: “All appointments made after the Gubernatorial Election of July 2018, violated due process, are hereby cancelled and declared null and void. And all affected workers are advised to participate in the next recruitment exercise to be announced in due course”.

But in his reaction, Fayose has described the action of his successor as “height of wickedness and political vendetta.”

In a statement by his spokesperson, Lere Olayinka, Thursday, in Ado Ekiti, the former governor said that sacking people duly engaged in the service by a duly constituted government was most unfortunate, urging them not to be disillusioned, but to approach the court to challenge the state government’s decision.

It will be recalled that a few months after Fayose became governor of the state for the second time in 2014, he promised to employ workers into the state’s labour force. Hence, applicants were asked to submit their CVs and over 10,000 indigenes paid the prescribed N1,000 fee for the form.

But no action was taken on this till he left office in September, 2018. It was however, gathered that Fayose employed about 200 mostly menial workers who were mostly between GL 01 and 04.

It was only about three months to the end of his tenure that he announced plans to employ about 2,000 workers into the state’s labour force. Those who were employed were not formally inducted into the state’s pay roll.

Moreover, the promise to recruit was made just before the governorship election and given the story of the 10,000 applicants, few believed the story. It was seen as just another election promise by the outgoing governor aimed at luring the people of the state for political objectives.

Another reason why people doubted him was the fact that just before the July election, the Fayose-led administration was owing workers up to seven months in salaries.

One of those who decried Fayose’s recruitment theory then was former Minister of State for Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who queried the rationale for Fayose’s election promise in a statement  he issued last June.

“Few weeks after his inauguration as the state governor, he instructed the unemployed youths in the state to submit their curriculum vitae for jobs that he promised to create for them.

“Over 10,000 youths in the state paid the sum of one thousand naira each, to collect the forms for the jobs, but unfortunately, up till now, he has not employed one single youth in the state,” he said.

He added that: “I wonder how a state governor, who has not paid the state workers for over seven months, owing pensioners months of gratuity and local government workers as well, is going to fund the employment of two thousand fresh employees.

“Here is somebody, who sacked all that were employed by the Dr. Kayode Fayemi-led administration that now wants to employ 2,000 workers.

“Workers and the youths should know that he is only deceiving them and does not have their interest at heart. The people cannot be deceived because an average Ekiti worker is more educated and enlightened than he is”.

Even the Labour Party candidate in that election, Dr. Sikiru Lawal, who ordinarily should have been inclined towards such a populist idea was not deceived as he flayed Fayose for trying to take the people for granted through the promise.

While the current face-off between the two political gladiators continues, the fate of the affected workers is hanging in the balance. While the state government has asked them to reapply for the jobs, Fayose has urged them to approach the court, only time will tell what will become their fate.



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