CIVIL servants in the State of Osun have cried out that the man at the helm of affairs of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has failed to redeem his pledge to pay them their salary arrears which have run into seven months. The situation, they said, is becoming unbearable.
Speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Monday, September 7, 2015, one of the aggrieved workers, Mr. Wale expressed discomfort over the failed promise of the engineer turned politician. He added that there is likelihood of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), declaring a stay at home order soon if the situation persists.
“We’re really suffering. And we have over anticipated that at least by now, we should have collected our salary arrears up to May this year, but our hope has been dashed as the state government constantly turns its deaf ears to our yearnings.
“Now, everybody expected that bail out or no bail out, Aregbesola would have at least paid us from February to May fully but the reverse is the case.
“Children will soon resume for new session. Most of us don’t know how to get money for our children’s school fees. Also, Eid-il-kabir (big Sallah) is around the corner, no money for any festivity this year for any Osun worker. And we’re more or less helpless. A lot of us are heavily indebted now. Yet, there is no clue as to when we’re going to be paid. And the government expects us to be punctual at work. I think it’s high time the Federal Government came into our plight and openly let us know exactly what’s happening to the promised bail out.”
Another worker, Mrs. Modupeola, also corroborated the earlier submission. She added she regretted voting for Aregbesola. “The government of Aregbesola has failed the workers of Osun State. He promised us in June that he would pay up our salary arrears before the end of July. Since that time, I only received half salary in February this year. Since, nothing else has been paid and we’re being forced to resume work for fear of being sacked.
“Honestly, I regret voting for Aregbesola. Now, nothing can be pointed at as the dividend of democracy we have enjoyed during his second term. We heard of bailout, we’re all happy not knowing the debt of the state has even swallowed the said bail out.”
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s efforts to seek the reaction of the governor on the issue, via his Director of Bureau de Publicity, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon hit the brickwall as our call through to his mobile phone was not picked. We also sent him a text, all to no avail.
One of the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains in the state, Mr. Wole Adegbenjo who we succeeded in speaking with confirmed that workers have not been paid, but pleaded for more patience on the part of the civil servants.
“It’s true Aregbesola has not paid as pledged. He also banked on the promised bail out by the Federal Government but the money is yet to come. I trust him, he will settle all of them as soon as Osun State collects the money. He understands the situation of things in the state and loves all the people of Osun State.”