PDP in a statement signed by its Chairman, Alhaji Kunmi Mustapha, a copy of which was sent to DAILY POST by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Engineer Akeem Olatunji on Thursday, decried what it called ‘starving them policy’ by the state government as totally absurd and barbaric.
Mustapha declared that the policy, though had been employed by the same APC government in the past, it did not work because of the political and educational advancement of the state.
He said that the proposed policy was nothing but act of wickedness and insensitive to the plight of the masses, especially civil servants in the state.
Mustapha commended the leadership of the state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress, (NLC) for their timely intervention through the 3-day solidarity warning strike to draw the attention of the government.
He said it was timely for the workers to voice out on issues such as plights of the striking workers of the Six tertiary institutions in the state, reinstatement of 256 sacked staffs of LAUTECH teaching hospital Ogbomoso, removal of embargo placed on promotion since 2010, pension and gratuity of retired primary school teachers running to over 50 months.
He then appealed to the striking lecturers in the Six Oyo State owned tertiary institutions, sacked LAUTECH staff and pensioners to remain “unshaken” and never lose hope.
Mustapha in the statement further maintained that the attitude of APC led government towards the unpaid salaries of six tertiary institutions in the state and the planned invocation of no-work no-pay was inimical to human face policies.
Mustapha said “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.
“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.
“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 therefore enjoins 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.
“The party advises 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.
“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”. Alh Kunmi Mustapha said.
“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.
“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 staff 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, until there is smile on the governor the distraught workers and pensioners”, he said.
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