A leader of the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Opadokun has called on the labour unions in Osun State, to come to the round table with the state government and dialogue, instead of embarking on strike action.
He spoke in Osogbo, the state capital, on Monday, while addressing journalists, saying that they could pressurize the government, but the idea of saying that they want to have it total from day one may not be helpful.
Opadokun stated that each state has its peculiarity and categorization of revenue that is available to it, saying that Osun State was either number four below in collection of revenue from the federation account; hence, there is limitation to what it could afford to pay to its workers.
“The truth of the matter is that the state government can only deliver what it has; you don’t give what you don’t have. I am not sure if we have up to five states that can implement the N18, 000 minimum wage thoroughly. I believe that Governor Aregbesola is a labour activist himself and he will not do anything to harm them”, he added.
Appealing to the labour unions, Opadokun noted that when they are invited for a thorough assessment of the matter, they should give Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the state the recognition that he has the best in mind for them, adding that “the workers and the Osun people are the same and they should consider the interest of other people”.
“I think that Aregbesola is basically geared towards making lives better for the ordinary man on the streets, labour inclusive. He will not lie to them; he would open the books for them and work along with them to see that the best is done for the state”.
Blaming the federal government for the controversies generated by the issue of the minimum wage, Opadokun said, “the problem with Nigerian geo-political setting is that consistently, we abuse the major concept of federalism. In a federation, the central does not have the power to negotiate on behalf of the component units like in this case”.
Challenging the federal authority to do something for the states in terms of finance for them to be able to implement the minimum wage totally, he said, “they should do something, if they don’t what the collapse of this edifice called Nigeria”.