By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Oyo State chapter on Thursday declared the “no work, no pay” threat by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration in the state was act of wickedness and insensitive to the plight of the masses and the civil servants in the State.
According to the party in a statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan by its State Publicity Secretary , Engineer Akeem Olatunji and personally signed by the party’s State Chairman, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha berated the Oyo state government for attempting to cow the workers present on a 3 day warning strike with the threat.
“The Oyo State government’s nonchalant attitude to workers and pensioners welfare may have pulled the plug on negotiations between it and the disenchanted workers and pensioners but they shouldn’t lose hope since it only remains 15 months to the end of anti masses government of the day. The government toed a similar path in the case of LAUTECH but the lecturers stuck to their guns. The striking lecturers should not allow the issue of salaries to dampen the desire of its members to seek fundamental changes in the Nigeria’s educational system as PDP government will look into their plights immediately our party is elected come 2019 to make sure such a bad reoccurrence doesn’t rear its ugly head again in the history of our dear state.” he said
While urging the striking lecturers in the Six Oyo State owned tertiary institutions, sacked LAUTECH staffs and pensioners to remain “unshaken” and never lose hope despite their agonizing experience with Gov Ajimobi led APC administration in the State, the PDP Chairman noted that “the recent obnoxious policy of the Oyo State government in the last two years to insist on paying 25% salaries to the teaching and non-teaching staffs of The Polytechnic, Ibadan ; Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo ; Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology , Igbo- Ora ; The Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa ; The Oke- Ogun Polytechnic, Saki ; and Oyo State College of Education, Lanlate, which have remained closed since November when the staff declared a strike at the end of a 14 – day ultimatum given to the state government to pay their outstanding salaries as from November 3rd could be described as a crime against humanity and a great setbacks to educational development in the State.’.
While frowning at the attitude of the APC led government in Oyo state about the unpaid salaries of workers in the six tertiary institutions in the State and the plan invocation of no-work no-pay, the party Chairman said such ” is inimical to human face policies. “
“The Oyo State government’s decision to pay 25% salaries to the lecturers for the past two years thereby owing them between 10 to 15 months full salaries was a calculated attempt to ensure that children of the poor doesn’t have access to qualitative education thereby making education exclusively for the influential and rich in the society”.
Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha added that “the Peoples Democratic Party in Oyo State as a critical stakeholder is therefore calling the attention of Gov Ajimobi to the inherent dangers associated with his government elitist policy as it will only create an unsafe crime prone society where poverty and criminality will be competing side by side.
The party then asked the Governor Ajimobi led APC administration in the State ‘to clear the backlog of 10 to 15 months salaries being owed the striking lecturers as they all have families and loved ones to take care most especially in this austerity period and current hike in pump price of petrol and high cost of transportation and food items.”
Oyo PDP Chairman in the statement also advised “the staff unions of the affected institutions, sacked LAUTECH teaching hospital staffs, stagnant Civil servants since 2010 and primary school teachers that are being owed pensions and gratuity running to over 50 months should adopt welfare strategies to cope with the effects of the refusal of Gov Ajimobi administration to do the needful pending when the APC administration will be forced to have a rethink on the gross injustice done to them and their dependants. “
“To say that a governor of a politically conscious and educationally advanced State like Oyo State could be employing ‘get them to capitulate by starving them’ policy is totally absurd and barbaric. It has been employed by this same APC government in the past, it did not work.” adding ” the
PDP in the State is ready to make whatever sacrifices needed to make the Gov Ajimobi administration to honour agreements, pact and contract with our gallant teaching and non teaching staffs of the Six tertiary institutions and the sacked LAUTECH staffs as well as other affected workers and pensioners”.
Commended the leadership of Nigerian Labour Congress, (NLC) Oyo State chapter for their timely intervention through a 3 day solidarity warning strike to draw the attention of Gov Ajimobi led APC government to agonizing plights of the striking workers of the Six tertiary institutions in the State, reinstatement of 256 sacked staffs of LAUTECH teaching hospital Ogbomoso and removal of embargo placed on promotion since 2010, pension and gratuity of retired primary school teachers running to over 50 months, the PDP Chairman
said, “It is an uncontestable fact that Gov Ajumobi has killed education in the State with his acts and deeds”
“The governor is giving flimsy excuses for not paying workers salaries whereas the State gets Federal allocations and internally generated revenue like any other States and recently received the third tranche of Paris Club refund to the tune of N7.9 billion, yet the money developed wings without traces of impact on the civil populace. As for PDP in Oyo State, our support for the staffs of the Six tertiary institutions and the entire Oyo State workers and pensioners is total and unconditional. There is no going back. No retreat, no surrender. There is smile on the governor the distraught workers and pensioners”, the party concluded.