•Civil Societies, Opposition Rise Against It
Civil Society and opposition political parties in Osun State have taken Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola to the cleaners over the plan to foist new Chinese cars on the senior staff of the state civil service, premising their criticism on poor remuneration package.
It would be recalled that a government-sponsored news journal in its recent edition, gave the plan to foist new Geely cars on the workers in form of loan facilities.
OSUN DEFENDER’s investigation on the salary structure scale revealed that Osun State civil servants and teachers are the least-paid government workers in the South West axis of the country.
Findings further showed that the labour leaders and some leading labour activists in the state have been compromised in such a way that none of them could provide any government policy an objective critique.
It was reliably gathered that some labour leaders, who championed workers’ rights during the administration of former Governor Bisi Akande have become full time contractors now; wining and dining with the political functionaries; while some of them, who are privileged to regain their lost jobs, have now developed protruding tummies.
Investigations also revealed that the compromised labour leaders are now supplying strategies for the government on how to keep the mouths of the aggrieved workers shut permanently on certain rights and benefits that are being trampled upon.
Investigations further showed that part of the plans to stem the unceasing demands for salary increase, supplied to government, by the compromised unionists is giving out of car to some senior civil servants and teachers; while the lowest cadre would be lent facilities for motorcycles, and fairly used cars.
It was learnt that with the new cars given to the senior workers and loan facilities for the junior cadre, they would be placed under a compromised position that would afford them no opportunity to demand for more like Oliver Twist.
Speaking against the plot, the National Coordinator, United Action for Democracy (UAD), Comrade Abiodun Aremu said that the new car scheme was not in the best interest of the workers, noting that the governor is embarking on the plan with a view to lining some private pockets at the expense of unsuspecting workers.
“It is quite pathetic that these people in government are perpetually mischievous and they are busy thinking on how the innocent would be blackmailed into submission to their corrupt enrichment,” Aremu submitted.
According to him, “the governor’s automobile interest in China is driving him badly into making Osun State a dumping ground. Workers should be empowered to make choice for themselves, as foisting news cars on them is against the rule, and I know that the beneficiaries of the suspicious loan facilities would not like it at the end of the day”.
In the same vein, the state Director of Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), Barrister Alfred Adegoke has counseled the state workers against taking the new Chinese cars from the government, arguing that such a largesse would put off their rights sooner than later.
Also speaking, the founder of Campaign for Democracy and the Rights of the People (CDRP), Alhaji Amitolu Shittu has questioned the rationale behind the suspicious scheme, saying that systematic slavery is suspected.
“The good workers of the state deserved capacity building and empowerment, not a greek gift that would permanently silence the dissenting voices. An average worker reserves the right to make a choice, including a car of his choice and he should not be made to appear helpless. The new car scheme is a trap and we shall mobilize workers against it,” said Amitolu.
Besides, the state chairman, National Conscience Party (NCP), Alhaji Waheed Lawal said that the government should address the issue of living wage first, before thinking of placing debt around the neck of innocent workers.
“Workers have right to good life, but it should not be at the expense of their freedom. We have seen the cars given to the political functionaries ,they have no clear effect on governance except that some politicians are flaunting wealth. How would a worker on the peanut salary, maintains his vehicle or is the government ready to make the car maintenance loan available every month?” Lawal puzzled.