Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has apologised to the people of the state, the workers and Nigerians for the industrial dispute that rocked the state for the last two weeks.
He also described the state’s civil service as the best in the country, adding that he was always proud of the public workers.
Amosun gave the apology on Wednesday night at his Oke-Mosan office after a tripartite meeting among the officials of the state government, the state labour unions and the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.
He said: “Unfortunately, I don’t like to do things like this, this would be the second and I pray this would be the last that we would be in the media for the wrong reasons.
“Remember, I have to apologise like this on behalf of the good people of the state to not just only the labour leaders but to the entire nation because attention has been drawn wrongly to us in Ogun State. So, we want to henceforth be on the pages of newspaper for the right reasons.
“On behalf of the good people of the state, I am tendering this apology that we are Ogun State and we are the first to have access to education and even the civil service that we talk about, I remember our forebears set up so many.”
Amosun, who said he had not seen any governor, dead or alive, that had massaged the ego and patronised the civil servants like he had done, pleaded with the organised labour to always show understanding any time there were challenges.
The governor, who said he would not allow anyone to change the status of the civil service in the state, warned workers against mixing politics with their course of duty.
He said, “Let me put it on record that I have checked and I am still checking that no governor, dead or alive in Ogun State, has either patronised or massaged the ego of our civil servants the way I did.
“I did mention that the best we can do is to spend eight years, and many of them (the civil servants) would spend 35 years and because of that, when we came, we embraced them and we will still continue to do.
“I make bold to say and I will continue to say that the Ogun State Civil Service, we are the best in Nigeria and we would continue to be but when you see some few, that I have to take on, I did and I want that to be on record.
“But clearly, we should not mix what we are doing, civil service with politics, that is where I feel so very infuriated and I still do. As a governor, I swear that I will do the best for the people of Ogun State and I will continue to do that but we will not allow politics because this is Ogun State.
“And the civil service, I respect all of them, they know even when seemingly we should say something, I would not say it and even my colleagues, they will challenge me, ‘these your people you’re talking about, are they saints?’, I would say, ‘we are Ogun State’.
“You will see me saying that, the civil service in Ogun State, we are the best and if we see a few people that want to change that, you must let them know and you must be very hard.”
Meanwhile, many of the civil servants resumed at their duty posts on Thursday following the suspension of their 14-day strike.