The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State have berated the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu over an alleged fresh plot to deduct the state workers’ salaries, in order to fund the state Security Network Agency codenamed ‘Amotekun’.
The PDP in statement on Monday signed by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Kennedy Ikantu Peretei, alleged that Ondo State workers are the most pauperised and traumatized in South West Nigeria, despite being the only oil producing state, saying such move from the state government was inhumane and unacceptable.
The party said: “Salaries are not paid as and when due, and when paid at all, only fractions are paid. As at the last count, some workers received November, 2021 salary in April, 2022. This in itself is bad enough. Yet, Mr. Governor can have the audacity and effrontery to contemplate increasing the agony experienced by workers in the state.
“A circular stating how much is to be deducted from all grade levels showed clearly that, the Governor is outrightly insensitive to the suffering workers. What exactly does the governor spend his huge security vote on, if he has to depend on sacrifices from workers to provide security for the state?” We urge Akeredolu to be more frugal with handling of the finances of Ondo State, so as not to impoverish the workers further.
“This evil plan is not unconnected with accolades the governor had received from some quarters for his efforts at confronting herdsmen menace in the state through Amotekun Corps. As much as we are still unable to sleep with our two eyes closed, the Governor has been sunning himself in the vain glory of a conqueror and is about to stretch his luck too far”.
The party also alleged that workers in the state have been reduced to beggars to meet their daily needs, meanwhile, nothing bothers the governor as long as his N600m monthly security vote is first deducted from the monthly allocation to the state.
“Apart from Medical Doctors and other health workers that quit the employment of the state on a daily basis, there are other workers that have had to relocate to neighbouring states in search of better offers. The State Specialist Hospital, Akure now a teaching hospital and other health facilities in the state have all become ghosts of their former selves, courtesy of inhuman conditions under which people work and unpaid salaries.
“To now expect that, workers will be further tasked under whatever guise is most unacceptable and ridiculous. Unfortunately, the leaders of Organised Labour Unions, NLC and TUC have been compromised. Hence, no resistance is expected from these quarters. The workers are definitely on their own”, the party added.
Responding, Governor Akeredolu described the party’s allegations as blatant lies and a calculated attempt to seek attention.
Akeredolu, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde said, the state government has no plan of deducting workers’ salary for any purpose.
Akeredolu said: “As usual, the PDP is famous for twisting facts and disseminate falsehood to mask its dark intentions of hoodwinking the innocent members of the public. While we concede to the PDP, its right to constantly dive into self-ridicule, it remains the responsibility of Government to continuously alert the public of deliberate falsehood under any guise.
“To set the record straight, the Ondo State Government has no plan of deducting workers’ salary for any purpose. Rather, the Governor Akeredolu -led Administration has continued to show commitment and prioritize workers’ welfare in the last five years. The allegation of planned salary deduction is imaginary. It is an embarrassing falsehood fabricated by a party whose penchant for lies is legendary”.
Akeredolu explained that, the workers in the state through the organized Labour have shown commitment and support for Amotekun, by voluntarily donating 30 motorcycles to the corps last week.
“The PDP must have a heinous plot with its frequent attack on the progress and successes of the Amotekun corps. One would have expected that matters of security should cut across board irrespective of political differences.
“The PDP takes delight in playing politics with the lives of the people. Its endless fabrication of falsehood to halt the success of Amotekun or discourage well meaning individuals from supporting the security network, is mind-boggling”.