By Maxwell Adeleye
All was not well at the Ibadan North East Local Government yesterday. The Council secretariat at Idi-Ape area of Ibadan was taken over by uniformed policemen and their patrol vehicles.
They were drafted in by the Management of the council to curtail any efforts to break down law and order as workers non-payment of their allowances.
Operating under the aegis of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Ibadan North East Local Government chapter, the workers abandoned their offices and gathered on the premises to protest non-payment of the 2014 and 2015 leave bonuses and other allowances.
The protest started on Wednesday.
It was learnt that policemen were drafted in to prevent the angry workers from vandalizing government property or assault the Chairman, Mr Lekan Afuye.
When The Nation visited the troubled local government secretariat yesterday, most of the offices were under lock and key while the workers gathered in front of the Chairman’s office in an angry mood.
NULGE Chairman at the council, Mr Femi Alaje, told reporters that the council was owing staff leave bonuses and disturbance allowances from 2014 which they demanded but that the Chairman insisted on spending the little sum available on projects. He pointed out that the Chairman aggravated the situation when he walked out on workers at a Congress organized yesterday morning.
But Afuye described the demand of the workers as ‘ridiculous,’ saying that he could not use a paltry sum left in a huge sum received to pay allowances having used 85 per cent to pay salaries. He insisted on using the balance for capital projects, which he said, would bring benefits to people in the local government. He said he could not use all funds for salaries, adding that the council was owing only one month salary.
As policemen took over the premises with both parties sticking to their guns, the two leaders eventually signaled intention to dialogue and shift ground where necessary.