• Fayose’s account: Anti-Buhari protest rocks state
From Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Most employees of the Ekiti State Government, yesterday, failed to resume for work after organised labour suspended its four-week strike at the weekend.
The development, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), was contrary to earlier directives by labour leaders that workers return to their duty posts, yesterday.
A visit to the main state secretariat in Ado-Ekiti, where most ministries, departments and agencies are located, showed that only few workers reported for duty. The situation was almost the same in the public primary and secondary schools visited.
In one of the schools visited, only 15 out of more than 50 members of staff, had reported for duty at about 10:00 a.m. Also, most primary and secondary school students had to return home.
Some of the workers who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed regrets that the state labour leaders could concede to the payment of just one month salary out of the six months owed.
They alleged that many workers, especially teachers, refused to return to duty, because of a circular issued by the leadership of the state branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) on resumption.
The union, they said, had asked members not to resume duty yesterday until a sizeable amount of their salary arrears was paid by the state government.
However, workers of Ikole Ekiti Local Government Area of the state resumed for work at the council’s secretariat yesterday.
Newsmen who monitored resumption of workers in Ikole also saw pupils and students of public primary and secondary schools in their respective school uniforms smiling to their schools.
Meanwhile, hundreds of youths from tertiary institutions in Ekiti State, yesterday, protested what they alleged as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) selective anti-graft war.
The youths said President Muhammadu Buhari should ensure his anti-corruption war cuts across board if he desires to convince Nigerians that his administration stands for true change.
The students, representing institutions like Ekiti State University (EKSU), Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti (POLYADO), Ikere College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, and College of Health and Technology, Ijero-Ekiti displayed placards with different inscriptions.
The protesters marched from the Fajuyi Park towards Ojumose roundabout in Ado-Ekiti and sang anti-government songs.
Leaders of the various student unions, including Ibrahim Oladimeji (EKSU), Ayegbusi Paul, (POLYADO), Oyebade Adeyemi (IJERO), Onilearo Gbenga, (COLLEGE) addressed the crowd.
Adebayo said: “Fayose cannot be silenced. He remains the voice of the voiceless as far as Nigeria is concerned. I am a student, I do not belong to any political party, but, what we are saying is that if the government wants to convince us that it is here for positive change. It should do so by following the rule of law. The EFCC itself knows that in its law, it can only freeze any individual’s account without a court order and not as it did to the personal accounts of a sitting governor.
“We challenge the president to ensure that his corruption fight goes across the board, including his own political party if truly his administration stands for change.”
On his part, Adeyemi said: “We want to tell Mr. President that corruption fight against the politicians should not be selective. As there are corrupt people in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there ate also corrupt politicians in All Progressives Congress (APC). The government should not take the corruption war to PDP doorsteps alone. He should spread his dragnet to the APC, his own party and other parties.”
Mr. Gbenga Adedamola, who introduced himself as president of the National Youths Council of Nigeria, Ekiti State chapter, said his association supports the corruption fight of President Buhari, but added that it must not be selective.
“I cannot say that the freezing of Fayose’s account is legal or illegal. The court will decide that, but, personally, as a young person from Ekiti, I believe anyone who has committed a crime should be punished and no one should be spared,” he said.