Labour leaders in Ogun state have berated the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, for what they described as lack of understanding to govern the state.
The labour leaders who defied the heavy rain yesterday to protest at the Arcade ground of Governor’s office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta said the governor has reneged on his electoral promises to implement the N30,000 minimum wage and outstanding payment of gratuity, leave allowances and promotion for workers.
Speaking in a widely circulated video trending on social media, the state NLC Chairman, Comrade Bankole Emmanuel, said Governor Abiodun failed to realize that governing a civilized state like Ogun requires intelligence and wisdom.
He said, “We are disappointed with the way the governor is behaving now. When he came to us, he promised us that all outstanding allowances including the new minimum wage would be paid, but we are disappointed that after one year, he has failed to fulfill his promise.
“And we are saying enough is enough. One thing that the governor is yet to understand is that, governance in not a kid glove. We cannot afford to have an absentee Governor. Ogun state is too civilized to have an absentee governor. Governance is a serious business.
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“If our governor is not ready, let him pack his bag and go.”
Meanwhile, rising from an emergency meeting with the Secretary to the Ogun State Government and other top government officials, the labour leaders declared that, workers in Ogun state would on Wednesday (today), commence a one-week warning strike over failure of the state government to implement the N30,000 minimum wage.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Ogun stae, Mr Emmanuel Bankole, disclosed this to newsmen after a three-hour closed door meeting between the leadership of organised labour and government officials.
The workers had given the state government a 14-day ultimatum to commence the payment of new minimum wage failure of which they vowed to embark on the strike. The ultimatum would expires 12am on Wednesday.
Bankole said the meeting between the labour and government had ended in deadlock hence, their decision to embark on the strike.
The labour leader added that the government had taken their demands for granted, for too long.
He said “Unfortunately the negotiation was deadlocked and so the one week warning strike will commence 12 midnight on Wednesday.
“With the facts before us, Ogun is not the poorest in Southwest. If Lagos is paying and has continued to pay, Ondo state is paying and continues to pay, Oyo state is paying, there is no reason for Ogun state not to pay.
“And so we are saying no, all their excuses are unacceptable to us. The position of the government is unacceptable to us.
“What they said was that minimum wage will have to be delayed so that they can do certain things and we said no, enough is enough having waited for so long,” he said.
Speaking on their demands, Bankole said: “We are talking about gratuities that have not been paid for years, we are talking about leave allowance that has not been paid for years, we are talking about retirees that were shortchanged and not being paid since 2018, promotion for workers has been done in Ogun.
”These are the issues that we brought to the table and all attempts to get them to reason failed and so we are embarking on the warning strike.
While reacting, the Special Adviser to Gov. Dapo Abiodun on Public Affairs, Remmy Hazzan, expressed surprise over the warning strike, saying it was not the reflection of what transpired at the meeting.
Hazzan admitted that the organised labour had legitimate demands, but the financial status of the state made it incapable to implement the minimum wage.
He, however, said the government would continue to engage the workers in order to resolve the issue to avoid plunging the state into industrial disharmony.