By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ogun State has advised the African Democratic Congress (ADC) governorship candidate, Prince Gboyega Nasir Isiaka (GNI), not to trick the workers of Ogun State by their emergency solicitous and patronizing promises vaingloriously aimed at winning votes.
The APC, speaking through its Publicity Secretary, Comrade Tunde Oladunjoye, reacting to the reported promise by the ADC guber candidate that he will recall workers sacked by Governor Ibikunle Amosun if elected.
In a press statement issued on Friday in Abeokuta and signed by Oladunjoye, the APC posited that the ADC candidate played a prominent role in the previous administration in Ogun State, that was totally unfriendly to workers.
He was deeply involved with the government that owed workers salaries and unpaid deductions, sacked lecturers, dislocated families, and put the state in unprecedented debt trap that Ogun is yet to recover from.
The statement reads: “Our attention has just been drawn to a reported promise by the candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC), to the effect that if elected, he will reinstate workers, including Ogun NLC Chairman, unjustly sacked by Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
“Our advice is that the ADC and its candidate should not mock the plight of Ogun workers as they, the workers, know by pedigree and association, who the genuine friends of Ogun workers are, and the candidate that could place premium on their welfare in government. . The question to ask ADC is, where was Mr. Isiaka all this while in the concerted struggle to get these workers recalled, including the interventions of prominent traditional rulers like Awujale of Ijebu land? Why did it take his campaign visit to NLC for him to make this emergency promise?
“It is on record that the unjust sacking of the affected workers was a personal draconian decision of Governor Amosun, who is now promoting a rookie as governorship candidate in the Allied People’s Movement. Our party, All Progressives Congress (APC), opposed the sacking of the workers and we made it known on Monday, December 17, 2018 on Sweet 107.1 FM live Programme in Abeokuta , that the next APC Government of Prince Dapo Abiodun would not only reinstate the sacked workers, but will also call back from retirement those that were untimely retired by Governor Amosun. Prince Dapo Abiodun also said he will obey the court order directing the reinstatement of the sacked Staff of Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu Ijebu. Is GNI just waking up?
“It is very important to remind the good people of Ogun State that GNI was part of the eight years rule of the former governor, Otunba Gbega Daniel (OGD). He was a very important part of the inner caucus of the government at that time, which made him earn a very sensitive position as the head of the Gateway Holdings and was later presented by OGD as the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) gubernatorial aspirant and later People’s Party of Nigeria’s (PPN’s) governorship candidate in 2011.
“The questions to ask ADC and its candidates are many. We will just ask a few: What was his reaction when the OGD government could not pay retired civil servants their pensions and gratuities between 2008 and 2011 totaling over N7.5b? What was your role or reaction when over 1,000 workers of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, were sacked in one fell swoop in one day? What was your reaction when over 50 doctors resigned from OOUTH between 2007 and 2011 and others that were left went on strike for nine months that paralyzed health service delivery?
“What was your reaction when billions of naira were owed in salary arrears to all higher institutions in Ogun State by an administration in which you were one of the chief economic strategists? What did you do to stop the government from piling up debt, the highest in the annals of Ogun State, and from which the state is yet to recover? Did you ever lift a finger for the workers of TASCE, Omu-Ijebu, who were pauperized, with many losing their lives, by the administration you served? What did you do when the government you were part of made Ogun State to be blacklisted by UBEC via SUBEB for not paying the UBEC counterpart funds from 2008 to 2011, resulting in serious decay in the infrastructures of the primary and JSS schools all over Ogun State?”
APC said that, “It will be interesting for GNI to tell us his reaction when the government in which he fully served as economic strategist increased the tertiary school fees by over 300% and forced student union leaders to sign a bond acceding to 20% automatic yearly increment in school fees? The same government that failed to carry out promotion for teachers and civil servants between year 2008 and 2011.
The ADC candidate, as the Chairman of Gateway Holdings under the immediate past administration, supervised (in a process devoid of transparency) the controversial auctioning of prized assets of Ogun State to friends and proxies of the then government, which led to the sack of thousand of workers and caused untimely deaths and dislocated families with untold hardship.
“Ogun workers are not daft. They are not ‘brainless’ like Amosun described them. They are actually very discerning and are not fooled by emergency friends and “activists”.