200 Lagos West Youths For Entrepreneur Training

Two hundred youths drawn from the 10 local government areas of Lagos West Senatorial district are to undergo a three-day entrepreneur training starting from tomorrow in Lagos preparatory to possible empowerment to
establish their businesses.

Disclosing this information to a delegation of youths that visited him in his office in Abuja, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) said he is organizing the programme in conjunction with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigerian, SMEDAN, and a private organization, Abilele Industry Ltd adding that the training programme is meant to prepare some of them for the rudiment of business management.

“The era of just giving empowerment or grants for business without requisite training to ensure success is gone. This is why we are training youths to have some guidelines on how they can make a success of opportunities available to them” he said.

Senator Adeola said that he already have many empowerment equipment like sewing machines, grinding machines, freezers and hair dressing equipment that will be distributed during his town hall meeting adding that there are also opportunities for  outstanding youth to get grants from SMEDAN  in due course.

“Generally participants in the training will be university degree holders, HND/OND/NCE holders and those with WASC with at least 5 credits” the senator stated.

Leader of the youth Mr. Kunle Adimula commended the senator for putting the youths at the centre of his empowerment programme stressing that many of the parents whose wards benefitted from the 500 free JAMB forms
distributed as part of educational empowerment of youths in January are appreciative of the senator’s gesture.

Aregbesola Market Traders Lament Govt’s Planned Demolition

Traders at the Rauf Aregbesola Market, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos, have appealed to the Lagos State government to intervene in the impasse between them and Alimosho Local Government Council.

The local government, on Friday, threatened to eject the traders to pave way for the demolition of the structures to upgrade the market.

The traders told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday that this was the second attempt by the local government authorities to forcefully eject them from the market.

According to the traders, in 2012 when the market was under Egbeda/Akowonjo Local Development Authority, the council asked them to submit their allocation papers for an upgrade of the market.

They said the upgrade was suspended when their lawyer challenged the council after an advice from the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.

According to them, the ministry advised that the structures in the market be maintained as any attempt to raise the shops to high rise would affect the structural integrity of the entire market.

Mr Isaac Ilesanmi, a trader in the market said: “We forwarded the Town Planning report, through our lawyer, to the Governor’s Office and copied the council and the upgrade was suspended.

“But now, they have come back.”

The traders queried the rationale for government’s plan to take over the shops that were sold to them on owner-occupier basis at the first instance.

“We bought these shops in 2004 at the price range of N300,000 for those located inside and N400, 000 for those facing the road.

“We pay our yearly permit of N4, 100 as responsible citizens, abide by every rule governing the state and expect due consideration from government,” he said.

Mrs Ayoola Aromolaran, another trader in the market, said: “We are not against the plan to upgrade the market, but what we are saying is that no trader was consulted about the project.

“I feel this is wrong, we own the shops because we bought them from the state government in 2004, therefore, we should be engaged in issues that affect the market.

“The purported committee that has been dealing with the council is not representing us; we did not elect or nominate them to speak on our behalf.

“They have no stake in Rauf Aregbesola Market; they do not own any shop or sell in the market, so, they can never understand our plight or be our representatives on this issue,” she said.

Mr Moses Njoku said the desperation with which the council was going about the market upgrade showed there is an ulterior motive.

“The council is trying to deceive us. We heard that current tenants will have to pay one million naira, while new tenants will pay two million naira to acquire the shops after the upgrade.

“This is not fair considering the economic situation of the country and the fact that we are paying again for what we had previously bought.

Another trader, who simply identified herself as “Iya Nimota” said: “In 2001, Iyana Ipaja Shopping Complex was upgraded with pillars without demolition, the traders were not told to pay extra money.

“If the government has our interest at heart, as claimed, then they should do the same thing.

Mr Lateef Abiodun, the Market Master for Alimosho Local Government, told NAN that the planned upgrade of the market was in line with the megacity plan of the state government.

Abiodun also serves as the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Alimosho Branch.

He said: “There’s going to be an upgrade, but we will not displace them, all the previous tenants will be put back in their rightful places.

“We have had meetings with the committee members set up by the market on this issue. We do not intend to create untold hardship for them, but rather to protect them.

“If they are resisting, what happened in Oshodi market may happen here, we are not saying we are the ones to do it.

“Because, those people (Oshodi) were on it for quite a long time, the state government just took action, we do not want that to happen here.”

NAN reported that the Rauf Aregbesola Market is a bungalow structure market, created in 2004 with 110 shops.

N25bn Employment Fund For Only Registered Lagosians — LASG

The Lagos State Government has said the state’s N25bn State Employment Trust Fund will cater for only the unemployed and aspiring entrepreneurs who are resident in Lagos.

The Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget, Lagos State, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, in an interview with our correspondent, however said the fund, which is geared towards addressing youths unemployment and promoting wealth creation through entrepreneurial development, would be available to all tribes.

According to Ashade, this is the government’s way of intervening in employment generation and getting Lagosians jobs.

When asked if the scheme was open to every unemployed in Lagos, Ashade stated, “It is open to Lagosians because this is Lagos State. Lagosians, no matter tribe, religion or party affiliation, are the people we are focusing on. The government is to serve Lagosians, no matter their party affiliations.”

He added, “What we have realised is that if we don’t restrict it to Lagosians and people that are resident in Lagos, who we can identify through Lagos residents registration database, it will lead to a situation where people that are not contributing to the wealth of Lagos will come from other parts (of the country) to benefit from what is meant for Lagosians. And we want to put a stop to that.

“We are not going to discriminate as long as you are resident in Lagos.”

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had signed the bill establishing the Fund into law and appointed members of its Board of Trustees.

The governor had said an annual contribution of N6.25bn would be injected into the Fund by the state government for four years, totalling N25bn.

Ashade said, “The guidelines are going to be very simple. The interest rate is three per cent. We are trying to promote financial inclusion so that people that will not be able to access credits of financing from the conventional banks will find succour and be able to do that through the Employment Trust Fund.

“Beyond that, it will also create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in Lagos. Once businesses thrive in Lagos, they will provide more employment for the teeming population. We are ensuring that we remove bureaucracies in issuing necessary permits for private businesses.”

Ashade also stated that Lagos had the capacity to support the a-meal-a-day programme for pupils of primary schools.

“I am not speaking for other states. It is also beneficial to us that the Federal Government is contributing 60 per cent and we are going to provide a counterpart fund of just 40 per cent,” he said.

The commissioner said while some critics had argued that some states might not be able to sustain the programme, it had economic benefits for any state that adopted it.

Ashade said, “One benefit of it is that it will increase school enrolment and it will also provide the nutritional needs of our pupils. There is an agricultural value chain around that: some people will plant some of the food that we need to use for the meals not forgetting the vendors and transportation.

“These will also jumpstart some critical sectors of our state and some other states that decide to embrace the programme. I think the advantages are what we should concentrate on and not whether some states can afford it.”


OPC, Lambasts Benin Chiefs Over Comment On Oduduwa History

The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has accused Benin palace chiefs of distorting Oduduwa history, saying their comments were capable of triggering discord between the Yoruba and people of the Benin Kingdom.

The group also said the research being relied on by the chiefs to deny the relationship between people of the two races lacked credibility.

The National Coordinator of the congress, Gani Adams, said in a press statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday that the comments credited to the palace chiefs about Yoruba origin were unhistorical and unreliable.

Mr. Adams said such poorly researched claims lacked historical credibility, could be inflammatory and could set the two noble race against each other.

He said the relationship between ”the Yoruba Omo Oduduwa and the Edo was rooted in history and shrouded in mystery in other to keep the two vibrant nations together and oil the chord of communal relationship for ever.”

“Even, though some writers of historical documents about the relationship and chord of brotherhood between the two have allowed personal sentiments and pecuniary consideration to overrule their sense of judgement, clarity, fairness, objectivity and harmonious cohabitation. And the purported statement from an high chief of Benin belong to this trend,” the OPC leader said.

“We should not indulge in diluted information coined by agents of destabilization which emphasised those things that divide us instead of talking of those things that unite us.”

‘Whatever angle or point of view any writer come out with in this discourse, the fact remains constant that there is a bond of relationship which is not fleeting but fundamentally essential between the Yoruba Omo Oodua and the Edo Omo Eweka the Great.”

He appealed to the traditional institutions in Benin and Ile-Ife to be wary of palace chiefs who he said were only out to pitch the two noble royal houses against each other by their sheer impetuosity and face service.”

Mr. Adams commended the royal sagacity and visionary posture of the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, not only for remaining calm, but for refusing to “dignify the sender of those ill-researched statements with any response”.

“I must also commend the political maturity and sagacity being displayed by the Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, who has been consistent in his peace diplomacy shuttle among the traditional Obas in Yoruba land which has kicked – off a brand new era of harmonious relationship among the Obas in the south – west,” Mr. Adams said.

He warned those he described as ”scripters of divisive statements, the procurer of false history and the spreader of ill -researched historical fallacy to put a stop in their unholy act and allow peace, unity, harmony and era of brotherly interaction take control among the traditional rulers in the South West including their sibling in Edo State.”

”We are warning them to stop sowing seeds of discord among the Omo Oduduwa and their siblings in Edo State,” the OPC leader said.

The Ooni of Ife had on Tuesday said Benin Kingdom in Edo State remained part of the expansive Yoruba race, a pronouncement that may spark fresh rivalry and altercation between people of the two ancient kingdoms.

The monarch made the comment in reaction to a statement credited to the palace of the Oba of Benin challenging the claim by the Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo, that the Ooni of Ife remained the pre-eminent spiritual leader in Yorubaland and environs.

Oba Ogunwusi, via a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Moses Olafare, had said he was not interested in any supremacy battle with anyone but that he would continue to put the records straight and avoid distortion of history from any quarters.

The monarch said going by historical evidence detailing the Oduduwa lineage, Benin Kingdom remained part and parcel of Oduduwa House.

“We in Oduduwa land have always seen and regarded our people in Benin kingdom as part and parcel of Oduduwa House. They are our brothers and sisters, coupled with historical facts to back up this position,” Ooni Ogunwusi said.

The Alake had, while hosting the Oba Ogunwusi in his palace on February 7, rated the Ooni as the number one monarch in Yorubaland and other territories considered part of the Oduduwa House.

In his rating, Oba Gbadebo said Oba Ogunwusi was number one of the five principal Obas in Yorubaland, followed by the Alaafin of Oyo, then by the Oba of Benin (in third position), the Alake of Egbaland (fourth) and the Awujale of Ijebuland (fifth).

But in a swift reaction on Tuesday, the Esogban of Benin and Odionwere of the Kingdom, David Edebiri, rejected the ranking, saying the Ooni of Ife was a son of the Oba of Benin and that the Oba of Benin stool has no relationship with the Yoruba race.

The Esogban said, “We wanted to discard this report as something that was not necessary at all. We do not see how the Alake of Egbaland suddenly woke up to think that the Oba of Benin is also a Yoruba Oba.

“There is no basis for such classification; Oba of Benin has nothing to do with the Yoruba Obas. It is simply unnecessary, unless they simply want to stir up an unnecessary controversy.

“We are not in Yorubaland. To be frank, it is because many of them are not willing to come up with the truth, the word Oba is alien to Yoruba monarchy; it is not part of their title from time immemorial.

“For instance, the one they call the Oba of Lagos, these are recent adaptations. In the 50s, there was no Oba of Lagos, what we had was the Eleko of Eko. That is the title of the King there. In Ibadan, you have the Olu Ibadan. You come to Abeokuta, you have the Alake of Egba land. You come to Oyo, you have the Alaafin of Oyo. In Ilesha, you have the Owa-Obokun of IIesha. So no Yoruba monarch had as part of his titles the word Oba except the Oba of Benin.

“That word Oba is indigenous to Benin. It is only in recent times you find everybody bearing Oba. When the Western Regional conference of traditional rulers took place in Benin City in 1942, go and check the attendance, there was no other monarch in the whole of the Western Region then that bore the title of Oba, except the Oba of Benin.

“So it is an unnecessary excursion, an unnecessary attempt to turn history upside down by the Alake by classifying the Oba of Benin as third in the hierarchy of kings.

“Our own traditional history says that the Ooni of Ife was a Benin Prince who wandered from here to Ife, settled there and became the ruler there. That is the position, if they don’t know, they should send people here; we will teach them.

“We will show them landmarks. So this is unnecessary misrepresentation of history. Maybe the Alake wanted to mention a different place and not Benin.

“The monarchical rulership in this part of the world started from Benin during the era of the Ogisos. It was the son of the last Ogiso, Owodo, that wandered from here to Ife and he became a ruler there, carrying everything about the Benin monarchical system to that place. There is no basis for such classification.

“The Ooni of Ife, by historical facts, is a son of the Oba of Benin, so they are not in the same class. The Oba of Benin is the only one that answers Oba, the rest don’t. But today, we hear Oba here and there, they are all recent adaptations. I am saying categorically that the word Oba is indigenous to Benin and not to Yoruba nation.”

Amosun Swears In Six New Aides

Barely 24 hours after swearing four Special Advisers, Governor Ibikunle Amosun has approved the appointment of another six aides.

The six new aides were sworn in Friday by the Governor.

They are five Senior Special Assistants (SSAs) and one Consultant.

The five SSAs are: the State Secretary of APC, Toyin Ayebusuwa, Moshood Akinyele (Americo), Ishiaku Abass, Remi Onasanya and Alhaja Omotunde Rasida Yusuf.

Otunba Gbeleyi, who was a former deputy Speaker in the state, was sworn in as a Consultant to the Governor.

On Thursday, four aides were sworn in by the governor with a charge to them to see their appointment as a call to service and not to amass ill gotten wealth.

Those sworn in were the former Deputy Speaker, Tola Banjo, who is now the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties.

Others are the APC House of Representatives candidate in the last election for Ogun Waterside/Ijebu North/ Ijebu East, Biyi Ismail, who is the SA/ Director General, Land Matters.

Also sworn in Thursday was Mrs Hafsat Abiola-Costello, former SA on MDGs to Amosun between 2011-2015 and the daughter of the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 Presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, and Mr Babafemi Adenuga sworn in as the SA on Health.

The newly appointed aides were this morning briefed by the governor on the expectations from them and how to comport and relate with the people irrespective of their political, religious or ethnic leanings.

The briefing was held at the conference room of the Governor at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.

Meanwhile, Governor Ibikunle Amosun has assured the people of the state of the full completion of all ongoing projects.

He promised that none of them will be abandoned as being insinuated by the opposition and mischief makers.

He appealed to the people to imbibe maintenance culture so as to be able to protect and maintain all the infrastructure across the state.

PM News

German President Visits Governor Ambode

German President, Mr. Joachim Gauck visited Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Monday, pledging that Germany will assist Nigeria with the technical know- how to successfully fight terrorism.

Gauck, in a late hour visit to the Governor at the State House, Ikeja, which entered into the night said the purpose of his visit to the country was to strengthen the cordial relationship between the two countries and to forge additional trade ties.

Lagos State deputy governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule welcoming President Joachim Gauck of Germany (2nd right) who is on official visit to Lagos State, at the presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed International airport, Ikeja on Monday, February 8,2016. With them are German Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Michael Zenner (2nd left) and the Nigeria foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama,
Lagos State deputy governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule welcoming President Joachim Gauck of Germany (2nd right) who is on official visit to Lagos State, at the presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed International airport, Ikeja on Monday, February 8,2016. With them are German Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Michael Zenner (2nd left) and the Nigeria foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama,

Speaking through an interpreter, Gauck said he was willing to share his country’s experiences in the field of science and technology, especially in the areas of capacity building, expressing confidence in steps being taken by the present government in the country to address the nation’s challenges.

“I am delighted to be here in Lagos and we in Germany and in Europe are more than aware of the importance of this city as a centre of business, of political development, of creativity and intellectively in the art of West Africa. At the same time I am delighted to be here in Lagos on my very first visit to Nigeria. I am happy to learn more and hear more about the successes of this country and the problems it has to tackle.

“My visit is meant to underline the friendly close ties existing between Germany and Nigeria. We have great interest in the area of trade. We in Germany are ready to share our experiences in those areas where you think they might prove helpful or necessary and we are happy to share the experiences we have acquired in fostering security and fostering social security.

“We are happy to share the knowledge we have acquired in the field of science and technology and cooperate with you and we are also happy to the knowledge we have when it comes to bringing about a fruitful cooperation between the business communities to bring about benefit for all,” he said.

According to him, “That is all we want to talk about and look at the potentials on these subjects and other matters. I am happy not only to get an opportunity to meet the representatives of the business community and to get to know more about the strength of assisting this country in those areas but also to have the opportunity to learn more about the culture in diversity that this country has to offer.

“I refer to business delegation that is accompanying me on this visit. Amongst them you have experienced personalities, people who have been here for quite a while and have acquired crucial beneficial experiences in doing business here on the ground. At the same time we also want to be of assistance when it comes to providing training; we believe that the German model in the area of training can be adopted here.”

Speaking, Ambode told the German president that his administration had instituted security and legal reforms to ensure a thriving business environment.

He said his administration was ready to explore the common interests between the state and Frankfurt, which is also Germany’s financial capital.

PM News

Yoruba Genetically Immune To Lassa Fever Virus – University Don

A university lecturer, Prof. Christian Happi, has claimed that Yoruba people, by the make-up of their genes, are immune to Lassa virus that causes Lassa fever. The researcher, who is Dean, College of Postgraduate Studies, Department of Biological Sciences, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, said research was ongoing on why this is so, adding that few cases of Lassa fever recorded among Yoruba people are “imported.” Speaking on the new breakthrough on the rampaging Lassa fever, Happi, who is Director, World Funded African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, ACEGID, while speaking in Ede, said Lassa fever virus originated from Nigeria about 1,060 years ago.

He further explained that the disease spread to other West African countries about 400 years ago, stressing that Yoruba have capacity to resist the virus more than any other ethnic group in country. Happi berated the Federal Government for what he described as its “lackadaisical attitude” towards using products of several researches by scholars to tackle myriads of challenges affecting the growth and development of the nation. Noting that despite the huge amount expended on discoveries on Ebola virus by the institution, the findings remained unexplored by government and relevant institutions. He also condemned the discriminatory policy of TETFUND, which only support researchers in public tertiary institutions, even when private universities have maintained lead in research findings across the globe over the years. He stressed that, if adequately funded, private universities are capable of living beyond expectations of Nigerians in the area of research work.

On new research findings, Prof. Happi said it has been discovered that Ribavirin that is currently used to treat Lassa fever was not designed for the disease and as such, would only be effective when given in the early phase of the infection. He posited that with the discovery, ACEGID took advantage of its current knowledge of genomics technology to have better insight into the virus genome and eventually, it has been able to identify potential drug target. “Using next generation sequencing, we successfully sequenced hundreds of Lassa fever viruses, thereby generating the largest catalogue of Lassa fever virus sequenced in the world, which in turn resulted to the identification of new epitopes in the virus,” Happi concluded.

National Mirror

60,000 Jobless Youths In Lagos Jostle For 1,200 LASTMA Jobs

The grim level of unemployment in the country manifested Monday in Lagos as over 60,000 applicants applied for the Lagos State Government’s traffic job, with openings for only 1,200 applicants.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State is planning to beef up the traffic manpower of its traffic agency, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, and the Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIO.

The state government placed an advert for recruitment last month in some newspapers and over 60,000 graduates comprising HND and degree holders applied for the jobs, P.M.NEWS investigation has revealed.

The State’s Ministry of Science and Technology handled and designed the online application job portals and has been able to capture the data of over 60,000 applicants for the vacant positions.

State’s Head of Service, Olabowale Ademola says 1,200 successful applicants from the lot would be employed into LASTMA, VIO and other lesser positions in the civil service.

Last week, thousands of shortlisted HND holders thronged the State’s Civil Service Commission, SCC, for screening, with the examination to be conducted in batches at the Public Service Staff Development Centre, Lagos (PSSDC), Magodo.

P.M.NEWS was at the PSSDC Monday where thousands of HND holders came for oral screening, while the screening for degree holders also kicked off simultaneously at the CSC’s office, with thousands of degree holders shortlisted showing up for screening, while their oral examination would be conducted next week.

Ajibola Aribiyi, Permanent Secretary, CSC, who spoke with P.M.NEWS at Magodo, venue for HND screening, refused to disclose the actual number of applicants, but said he would do that after the conclusion of the exercise.

He said it was too premature to disclose the number of applicants now or the number the government wanted to employ as more applicants were still coming in from interested bodies.

Aribiyi said by Friday, he would call our reporter to disclose the actual figure to him, but that he would prefer to keep mum for now and face the ongoing screening squarely.

“As I speak with you now, many people are in the commission undergoing screening,” he said, saying that it was after the screening that the actual figure would be known.

Efforts to persuade him to speak further proved abortive, but P.M.NEWS investigation revealed that over 60,000 jobless graduates might have applied for the job.

One of the shortlisted applicants who came for screening at PSSDC on Monday and craved anonymity, said the oral interview was just to know the origin of the applicants as the interviewers asked questions pertaining to certain places and locations to ascertain if they were truly from the areas they claimed.

The last stage of the interview for the shortlisted candidates would be fitness test as they would be ordered to engage in a short distance marathon to ascertain their fitness for the LASTMA and VIO jobs. That has been scheduled for a later date.

PM News

Ekiti Workers Lament Reversal Of Salary Paid Into Bank Accounts

Government workers in Ekiti State have decried the withdrawal of their salaries, few minutes after most of them received bank alerts of payment on Friday.

The workers, many of who are owed three months arrears, had celebrated on receiving the alerts of payment of two months arrears.

Their joy turned “sour” when they received another alert reversing the payment.

The development forced many of them to make phone calls to their colleagues to confirm if they had the same experience.

Some of the workers, who pleaded for anonymity, expressed shock with the development which they said has dampened their morale and exposed them to ridicule.

A Grade Level 13 officer said: “I was very happy when I received alert that my account has been credited with two months salaries and I started calculating how I would spend it but I was shocked to receive another alert within an hour withdrawing the money paid into my account.”

Commissioner for Information Lanre Ogunsuyi said the government was sorry for the inconvenience which he attributed to “an error by the firm  handling the computerisation of accounts”.

Ogunsuyi said: “We are aware of the development and I want to say that government is sorry for the inconvenience this might have caused our workers. Today, everybody will get one-month pay.

“It was an error by the firm that handled the computerisation of accounts, it was an error by our service provider.”

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned Governor Ayo Fayose to stop deceiving workers.

In a statement yesterday by its Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, the APC warned Fayose against persecuting union leaders for demanding for workers’ rights.

Olatunbosun described the action of crediting workers’ accounts only to withdraw same after media hype as “callous and highly fraudulent”.

He warned Fayose to “stop playing games with the lives of workers”.

According to him, Fayose’s inconsistent figures on the state debts and non-transparent manner in the conduct of government’s business were enough for workers to lose faith in him.

He said: “This is not the first time the governor is doing this to workers. He did it to primary school teachers last year when he learnt that they were to embark on strike.

“That is what he did last week after learning of strike plan by teachers after they refused to help him in a solidarity rally to save him from Ekitigate probe.”

“The governor who said the state was broke suddenly paid two months salary after learning that the teachers were bent on protesting the non-payment of their salary arrears, even though he quickly reversed a month salary from their accounts after workers were celebrating payment of two months arrears.

“As we speak, Fayose is threatening labour leaders for legitimately asking for the rights of workers.

“He has relocated government business to Afao- Ekiti just as he did when he was about to be impeached in 2006.”

The Nation

Stop Conning Ekiti Workers, APC Tells Fayose

The Ekiti State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked Governor Ayodele Fayose to stop deceiving workers over payment of their salaries and entitlements, saying persecuting union leaders for demanding for workers’ rights is a needless provocation that can rupture peace in the state.

It warned that sending security agents after union leaders was fascist conduct capable of forcing citizens to an act of rage for a slide to anarchy.

The state Publicity Secretary of the party, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said in a statement at the weekend union leaders had a responsibility to the work force and they had acted constitutionally in defence of workers.

Warning the governor against his fascist conduct, Olatunbosun said his inconsistent figures on the state debts and non-transparent manner in the conduct of government’s business were enough for workers to lose faith in the governor.

He described Fayose as a serial liar, slamming the governor for crediting workers’ accounts with their salaries only to withdraw the money after a heavy media hype.

Citing last week payments of two months salaries into workers’ accounts and later withdrawing payments, the party accused the governor of fraudulent conduct to sustain his grip on the “thoroughly abused” people of Ekiti people.

He said: “This is not the first time the governor is doing this to workers. He did it to primary school teachers last year when he learnt that they were to embark on strike.

“That is what he did last week after learning of strike plan by teachers after they refused to help him in a solidarity rally to save him from Ekitigate probe.”

Accusing Fayose of playing games with the lives of the workers, Olatunbosun said:

“The governor that said the state was broke suddenly paid two months salary after learning that the teachers were bent on embarking on protest over failure to pay their salary arrears, even though he quickly reversed a month salary from their accounts after workers were celebrating payment of two months arrears.

“We  reliably gathered that the money he used to pay workers last week was part of the cash he could not allegedly ferry to Dubai when President Muhammadu Buhari came visiting.

“This is besides the fact that the teachers salary for Sept 2014 was captured in the bail-out cash, yet he refused to pay the hapless workers who are barely surviving the harsh economic condition imoposed on them by his anti peoples’ policies while his own family lives in opulence abroad.

“As we speak, Fayose is threatening labour leaders for legitimately asking for the rights of workers. While doing this, he has relocated government business to Afao- Ekiti at exorbitant cost just as he did when he was about to be impeached in 2006 while his wife is in Dubai in the last three weeks on the bill of Ekiti State even as his children live in opulence abroad riding about in exotic cars while Ekiti workers can’t afford to pay their children school fees.

“We understand that the money used to pay workers’ salary was the money for the aborted Dubai trip when it became apparent that it would be difficult to ferry the money to Dubai after Buhari signed agreement with the Middle East country on financial crimes,” Olatunbosun explained.