By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun has said his administration will not reverse the recently signed new minimum wage and slash workers’ salaries because of the current economic crisis.
The governor promised that the local government elections, slated for July 24, would not be skewed in favour of the ruling party.
He made this known during the breaking of fast (Iftar) with the leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, on Wednesday evening, in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The Federal Government had on Tuesday declared that it would slash workers’ salaries and merge agencies, to cope with the dwindling economic situation in the country.
But addressing the APC leaders at the Iftar, Abiodun vowed that his government would not slash salaries of its workforce, rather, his administration would continue to be creative in its bid to make the state economically viable and financially strong.
“We are being very creative with financing. I was watching on television where I saw one of my brother governors say they might have to reverse on minimum wage. I want to assure you that Ogun State will not reverse on minimum wage,” the governor maintained.
On the local government elections, Abiodun informed the party leaders that he would not share political positions among men and women who are party faithful during the elections, but promote equal participation, noting that leaders of the ruling party in the state must show that they are products of democracy.
“We must be consistent; we must show that we have learnt from other people’s lessons and we that are a product of democracy. We had done primaries when somebody else did not want primaries and we subjected ourselves to the party process.
“We evolved through that process which was later confirmed by the general elections despite all odds. Let us make sure that whatever process we adopt is democratic, we must be seen as true progressive democrats.
“When it comes to a process like this, what we need to do is to encourage our women to participate, to come forward and participate, we will vote for them, but we are not going to share it and say because you are a woman, you take this. No, that will be undemocratic. We are not going to do that, there will be fairness,” he stated.
On the issue of insecurity, the governor disclosed that his administration would soon relaunch the OP MESA, which according to him, was recently resuscitated after years of neglect by the immediate past administration in the state.
He added that any act of insecurity would be viewed as a sabotage against the plan of his government to grow the economy of the state.
“We are taking the issue of security very seriously, be assured that we are doing everything we can, being the industrial hub of this country. Any act of insecurity is a sabotage against our plans to make our state very viable economically, we are going to fight it with everything, we are going to protect it with everything we have.
“We have resuscitated OPMESA. We are going to launch it maybe in the next two weeks, so we are going to have Amotekun and that. We are going to fight with everything, we have the police, vigilante,civil defense, the military are still there and then we have the OP MESA.
“OP MESA has gone for so many years because the previous administration did not take it very seriously, so, they withdrew it. But I went after that initiative and I got the Chief of Army Staff to finally approve it because like I said to him, I don’t know of other states, but my state, I cannot afford insecurity”, Abiodun stated.
While restating his administration’s commitment to make the state safe for the residents, the governor called on the people of the state to be watchful, prayerful and be observant of their environment, noting “security agents are as good as the intelligence they gathered”.
Earlier in his remarks, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC in Ogun, Yemi Sanusi commended the state governor for embarking on massive road rehabilitation and reconstruction across the state, as well as accommodating more members into the party, particularly bigwigs from other political parties.