The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has asked Governor Ayodele Fayose to stop deceiving the state workers over failed promises to pay their salaries, saying endless workers verification exercise designed to keep faith with the government is a wicked tactic to secure workers’ cooperation.
Publicity Secretary of Ekiti APC, Taiwo Olatubosun, in a statement on Sunday accused the governor of deliberate falsehood on the state’s financial status, saying the governor had no excuse to owe workers’ salaries.
“We have heard the governor say that the state was broke and we can’t find merit in that declaration because savings in all the empowerment schemes cancelled by the governor, the number of workers in thousands that were sacked and drastic cuts in the allowances and running grants of workers, including traditional rulers, would have saved the state millions of naira,” he said.
Olatubosun noted that immediate past Governor Kayode Fayemi carried out verification exercise only once through biometric auditing that brought sanity to wage payment system, wondering why after Fayose did verification exercise three times within seven months, the governor was still subjecting workers to unnecessary verification contraption.
“We in APC pity the workers, including pregnant women, who queue endlessly in the sun waiting to do this ill-conceived verification exercise. The governor assured that 48 hours after the exercise, the cleared workers would receive their pay. But two months after some workers completed the exercise, the governor has refused to pay, instead he is keeping workers on queue for hours in the sun for the salary that would not come. As a result, the workers have become confused, dejected and despondent,” the APC spokesman said.
He urged the governor to come clean on how he had been spending Ekiti money, saying rhetoric on state’s indebtedness was a callous way to deny the workers their entitlements while the governor was enjoying his personal life.
He said: “Ekiti people have heard how N650 million is being deducted from source to pay the governor’s election contractors. For six months, Fayose didn’t pay kobo on the purported Fayemi’s over-bloated debts. Savings in millions are made from cuts in workers and Obas’ allowances and running grants, including the savings in millions from thousands that lost their jobs. Social security for 20,000 elders was also cancelled by the governor.
“Many youth empowerment schemes that cost Fayemi millions of naira were cancelled by Fayose. Streetlights supply is now for three hours daily. Fayemi ran it for 12 hours. Fayose has stopped funding security agencies which has led to high crime rate in the state.
“Almost all the ongoing road constructions were fully paid for by Fayemi while Fayose cannot claim to have awarded any contract. The dividends of democracy Fayose has given to Ekiti people in the last eight months is brigandage, thuggery, blocking of highways, kidnapping and crushing of the judiciary and the legislative arms of government.
“He collected N22billion refund on federal projects while he also collected N2billion Ecological Fund which Fayemi did a lot to access without success. The question is, what is the governor doing with Ekiti money?” Olatubosun queried.
The party appealed to Fayose’s election contractors to spare a thought for the welfare of Ekiti workers, pleading that they should give the governor some moratorium to enable him pay workers’ salary.
The party also faulted the governor and his aides for making reference to Osun State over salary payment default, arguing that while Governor Rauf Aregbesola had many development and infrastructure projects he could point to, same could not be said of Fayose.