Strike: Pay 23 Months Salary Owed Oyo State College Of Agriculture Workers, ADP Tells Oyo Govt

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Immediate past Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State

By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan

The Action Democratic Party (ADP) on Sunday urged  Governor Abiola Ajimobi  to ensure prompt payment of  the 23 month salary arrears  owed workers of the Oyo State College of Agriculture, Igbo Ora.

ADP while making  the plea in a statement signed by its Oyo state Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lawal  Akindele made available to journalists in Ibadan declared that “it is no longer conscionable for citizens of the state to keep quiet in the face of the untold  hardship workers of the institution faces and the bleak future that steers thousands of students of the institution in the face.

“Government should treat the Oyo State of College of Agriculture with special attention to provide the manpower that will galvanise agriculture for abundant wealth creation in the state. If agriculture is regarded as our comparative advantage, government should give special care to the College of Agriculture. Today, the average age of farmers in Oyo State is 55 years”, it said.

The party stressed that  the plight of workers of the College of “agriculture is disheartening because the state is losing the potentials the college holds for the rapid development of the state.

 “Ideally, the College of Agriculture should be treated with utmost attention and seriousness by the government because it holds the key to the rapid development of Oyo State. This is because the development of Oyo State depends on how well we manage our comparative advantage in agriculture. If it is well handled, agriculture will provide jobs for our youths, provide cheaper food for the people, be the foundation of industrialisation of the state and generate enormous revenue for the government.”.

ADP added “government will  therefore have more funds to provide free and quality education, provide health services, provide infrastructure and support the vulnerable members of society especially the very poor, the disabled and the old.”

“We must produce young graduates from the  College to succeed the aging farmers. Our agriculture is behind in productivity because we have not brought science and technology sufficiently into it. For instance, while one hectare of cassava cultivation in Oyo State gives us an average of four tonnes, the same one hectare produces 14 tonnes in Asia.”.

According to ADP,  “the difference is Science and Technology which quality education in a College of Agriculture will provide. We can achieve this by producing graduates from the College who have been tutored in the new science and Technology of  agriculture.,” saying, “these graduates and, indeed students,can also be made to serve as Extension Officers that will bring the best practices in agriculture to the attention of farmers in our rural areas.”

The party emphasized that ” if the development of Oyo State relies heavily on agriculture as we all know, government should indeed make the College of Agriculture tuition free so that thousands of our youths can be admitted and trained to revolutionize agriculture in Oyo State.”

“It is inconceivable that in the area where proceeds of agriculture were used to provide free education as far back as 1956 and construct edifices like the Cocoa House, the Liberty Stadium and the first television station in the black world, we are unable to use agriculture to drive development for the benefit of our people”,

The ADP then advised  the Governor Abiola Ajimobi led administration to  review its programmes and place emphasis on the welfare of workers as “the workers are the drivers of development.”

“There cannot be governance without workers. One therefore wonders how we can claim to be running a government when workers stand unpaid their salaries for 23 long months. What are their wives and husbands expected to feed on? How are their children expected to liveand pay school fees? How will they meet the expectations of their extended families in a societywhere those in employment feed so many mouths beyond their nuclear families?

Stressing the need for the Governor Ajimobi led government to  restore the virtue of compassion in government as a way of finding  solution to the myriad of problems of governance in Oyo State, ADP said “government truly has to take hard decisions at times but the virtue of compassion will help government lessen the impact of such decisions on the people”,

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