Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Crisis has hit the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Ekiti chapter as immediate past state chairman, Mr. Ade Adesanmi and others have threatened to drag the current leader of the union in the state to court following allegation in government quarters that they received money and land worth several millions of Naira from ex-governor Ayodele Fayose, Adesanmi and others said they might have no option than to sue the ex-leader – whom they alleged to be behind the fake and defaming petition – if he fails to retract the accusation with immediate effect.
A petition written to the state government leading to the setting up of a probe panel, had accused Adesanmi and six other labour top brass of allegedly collecting N6 million monthly running grant and another N6 million quarterly as meeting allowances as well as landed property from the immediate past government.
In a statement in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, Adesanmi described the petition as a clear case of “blackmail, backstabbing and defamation” of his person and others.
Contrary to widespread insinuation in some quarters, Adesanmi, said no query had been issued by the state government since they had neither been indicted or found guilty of the said accusation.
He, however, exonerated Governor Kayode Fayemi’s administration of blame, saying they only acted based on ‘frivolous and spurious’ allegations raised against them as civil servants.
Dismissing the allegations further, Adesanmi said: “These past labour leaders were not indicted for fraud. I can also say that no any labour leader collected such amount. I am not aware of that and neither did I sign and collected such amount for myself or on behalf of the labour.
“On the allegation raised that we are political, I want to say clearly that none of these labour leaders is a member of any political party and neither did we canvass votes for anyone during the last governorship election. I even warned workers severally to shun partisanship, because it is against the civil service rule.
“On the issue of land, we as labour leaders applied for land just like every other civil servant. The application was approved and prescribed amount paid. Further clarifications can be done through the Ministry of Lands and Housing.
“To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of any labour leader being given free land by the past government and if there was any, we were not part of it.”
Adesanmi said there was need to put an end to the recurrent cases of backstabbing and pull-him-down syndrome within the labour circle in Ekiti, to prevent the labour centres from being weakened and politicised.
“These recurrent issues of blackmail and defamation of character within organised labour must stop in our own interest.
“I believe elections had been held and new leaders had emerged at both NLC and TUC; we thought whatever grievances we had must have ended with the conduct of the elections, so that we can move on.
“The originator of this allegation and fake news should retract same immediately, otherwise a legal action will be taken against him.
“We say without fear of contradictions that we had done our best for Ekiti workers and what we deserved is commendation and not vilification as being presently done,” he stated.