Ondo civil servants begin strike over unpaid salaries

By Samuel Faleye, Akure 

Workers in Ondo State have commenced an indefinite strike over non-payment of their five month salary arrears.

This is coming just as the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Olusegun Mimiko led government of diverting the bailout funds as loans to some other groups in the state. 

Specifically, the APC accused government of diverting the sums to provide loans to members of the National Union Road Transport Workers (NURTW), artisans, market women in exchange for their voter’s cards. 

The fund was initiated by the Federal Government to many states to settle outstanding workers’ salaries, allowances and pensions owed the people. 

A statement by the Party’s Publicity Secretary, Omo’ba Abayomi Adesanya, said, “We have uncovered a new strategy by Governor Olusegun Mimiko to hoodwink the people of Ondo State and to illegally acquire their voter’s cards under the guise of soft loans to certain groups of people and associations in the state. 

“These groups include: the National Union of Road, Transport Workers (NURTW), artisans, market women associations, the Okada Riders Association, Tipper union and others. 

“Using his surrogates planted within these associations, the governor has started witch hunting and intimidating members who refused to submit details and photocopy of their voter’s cards. 

“He has threatened to deregister and expel them as members of such association/group and that he will not allow them to function within the state. 

“Mimiko’s plan is to give soft loans of between N60,000 to N100,000 to every member in exchange for their voter’s card ahead of the 2016 gubernatorial election in the state. He also promised any member with children of voting age an extra N100,000, depending on the number of children. 

“This is obviously robbing Peter to pay Paul. He is robbing the workers in the state of their salaries to give loans to the artisans, NURTW, market women in exchange of their voter’s cards. 

“We appeal to these groups/associations and the people of Ondo state not to fall for this evil plot by the Governor. Voter’s card or its information should not be released to anybody or government agents as pre condition or license loan. Doing so will amount to selling their future and that of their children. 

“We challenge Ondo State Police command, Directorate of State Security, Ondo State command, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the State to quickly investigate this matter and unravel the government agents behind this dastardly act and bring them to book.”

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