In his first public speech on the passing of his father, Governor Dapo Abiodun recalled how he told him to prioritise the payment of workers’ salaries and pensioners’ entitlements.
While receiving sympathisers at his family home in Iperu-Remo last week, Mr Abiodun described his father’s death as “painful and a great loss to him and his family.”
“When I assumed office, my dad told me to be faithful to the oath of office I took, he said I should respect the civil servants, pay them regularly and ensure that pensioners get their gratuities and all will be well.
“He also asked me to treat teachers well, you know that was his constituency, he told me to pay workers on time, before the last day of the month.”
But, as it has turned out, the governor has not heeded to his father’s wishes.
Emmanuel Abiodun, 89, died on August 2 after a brief illness, according to a statement by the family.
Judiciary workers’ strike
On the same day Mr Abiodun was recollecting his late father’s wishes, the judiciary workers in the state were embarking on an indefinite strike over alleged short-payment of their salaries by the state government.
Edun Tajudeen, the JUSUN state chairman, on August 11, said the strike was in compliance with the national secretariat’s directive.
The chairman noted that the union took the decision to embark on strike after they had held series of meetings with representatives of the state government, which ended in a deadlock.
He further said the union had noticed the shortage in the salaries of judiciary workers in the state since October last year.
“It’s been a long time that we have been on the issue, and there were series of meetings, that is why we asked all members of the judiciary staff to sit at home until when our request is granted.
“This strike we are embarking is indefinite strike, because on February 24 there was an ultimatum given to the government for the payment of full salary before the nationwide strike on autonomy commerced.
“And after the strike, the meeting continues with the government which is not yielding any result.”
The JUSUN chairman urged the Ogun State government to look into their request and noted that their demands could be easily met because their staff strength is low.
Ex-political appointees’ plea
In the same vein, former political appointees in the state have appealed to the governor to pay their backlog of severance allowances.
The appointees, in a letter jointly signed by Soyombo Opeyemi, Olusola Balogun and Lanre Adeagbo, all Special Assistants during the immediate past governor’s administration, pleaded with Mr Abiodun to offset their severance so as to encourage “sacrificial service” by public officeholders.
“No one can ignore the fact that you have not only retained the 2,000 workers employed by the previous administration but went ahead to pay them nine-month salaries, which pleasantly surpassed expectations of the citizens of Ogun State,” the former Special Assistants stated in the letter dated August 5.
“We, the undersigned, representatives of Special Assistants to the Governor who served Ogun State Government between the years 2015 and 2019, earnestly appeal to Your Excellency to pay our Severance Allowance.”
Co-operative Thrift and Credit Union members beg
On their part, the Ogun State Salary Earner’s Co-operative Thrift and Credit Union Limited also appealed to Governor Abiodun to pay their 17 months outstanding co-operative deductions to “save its members from untimely death.”
The union in a statement jointly signed by its president, Bodude Tanimola, and the General Manager, Sunday Ajayi, urged the governor to intervene and “stop the unwarranted deaths caused by the non-payment of entitlements to their members.”
The union lamented that children of many of its members have dropped out of school over their inability to pay tuition fees and cater for other important school needs, adding that the non-remittance of the co-operative deductions has run into billions of naira.
The union further complained that several letters written to the governor, the Head of Service, and commissioner for Community Development and Cooperative, among others were not attended to.
“There is inability of our members to take care of their immediate and extended family’s welfare,” the statement read.
“There is also inability to give out loan to our co-operative members.
“We appeal to the Executive Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun to look into 17 months Co-operative deductions outstanding owed our members to reduce the number of death recorded among our members”.
MAPOLY staff cry
Also, both teaching and non-teaching staff of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, have been groaning over the non-payment of their June and July salaries.
A lecturer in the institution, who does not want his name in print for fear of being sacked, noted that fear has been responsible for the silence of workers in the institution despite the non-payment of salaries.
He explained that staff received two months salaries in July to offset April and May salaries leaving June and July.
“We haven’t been speaking in public because of fear, not because all is well. We received April and May in June and till now we haven’t received anything. As we speak we are currently being owed June and July salaries and seven semesters for part-time lecturers.”
LG pensioners, government at loggerheads
ers in Ogun State, especially those of the local government, have always been at loggerheads with Gov Abiodun over unpaid gratuities and delay in payment of monthly pensions
On June, 10 pensioners under the umbrella of the Local Government Pensioners Association (LOGPAN) were at Oke-Mosan to protest the alleged refusal of Governor Abiodun to pay their gratuities but were locked out by security agents.
The pensioners embarked on strike after observing three days fasting over their unpaid entitlements.
Sikiru Ayilara, the LOGPAN state chairman, accused the government of favouring the state pensioners over their local government counterparts.
“The state pensioners are being treated as sacred cows, receiving their pay as at when due, simply because the father and mother of the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun are state pensioners,” Mr Ayilara said.
“The state pensioners are being paid by the 28th of the month, while the local government pensioners and retired primary school teachers are being overlapped and have to wait till almost the next month ending.”
Mr Ayilara expressed concern over Mr Abiodun’s “non-challant attitude” to their demands, including the non-payment of gratuities, lateness and non-increment in their monthly pensions and discrimination against the state and local government pensioners.
The pensioners urged the governor to vote N1 billion monthly, instead of paying N500million quarterly to settle gratuity arrears; saying this would take up to 34 years to clear the outstanding gratuities.
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