Four out of the 1,500 teachers sacked by Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, late last year have reportedly died from depression.
The teachers were recruited in the last months of the administration of the immediate past governor of the state, Gboyega Oyetola.
However, at his inauguration, Mr Adeleke announced the dismissal of the teachers on the ground that their employment process was illegal.
He said his predecessor had laid a booby trap for his his government through their recruitment.
On Monday, the coordinator of an association of the sacked teachers, Wasiu Owoyemi, announced the death of the four teachers at a press briefing in Osogbo.
He attributed the deaths to effects of the nullification of their appointment.
Mr Owoyemi, who spoke on behalf of the sacked teachers, pleaded with the state government to reconsider its decision on their employment.
He said many of them had resigned from their previous jobs when they got a notification that they were employed.
“Your Excellency sir, it will be of great concern to know that the effect of nullifying our appointments as class teachers had already been felt as we have recorded no fewer than 4 deaths among us as a result of depression of nullifying the appointment as class teachers,” he said.
“We have resigned our work engagements with previous employers of labour. Hence, we have no other places to go other than this offer. We pray our hopes will not be dashed as we rely heavily on this job. We do not want to be subjects of ridicule and mockery to our previous employers any longer and colleagues who were not part of the recruitment process or those who ridicule us as jobless graduates,” he pleaded.
“Your Excellency sir, save our soul and have mercy on us. We are your children and siblings. There are great numbers of dependents on us. Nullifying or terminating our appointments at such a time like this is like being thrown into the sea of hopelessness.
“Your Excellency Sir, we can feel your concern or reservation on certain actions taken by the past administration. However, it will be a great honor if our plights and appeals are given favorable considerations.”
Reacting, the Special Assistant on Community Communications to the state governor, Tunde Busari, said there is no going back on the sack of the former teachers.
Mr Busari, in a statement, said the affected teachers were “smuggled” into the state payroll.
“Those engaging in demonstrations are APC members smuggled into the state payroll by former Governor Oyetola. By virtue of the Executive Order issued by Mr Governor, those illegally employed remain sacked and are no longer staff of the state government. No amount of demonstration and blackmail can change that reality,” he said.
“Those APC members are now playing the script. They have failed from the beginning as this administration will not bow to unjustified demands from those who collaborated to deepen Osun financial woes.”
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