WOLE BALOGUN, Ado Ekiti
Workers whose appointments were terminated by the Ekiti State government on Wednesday have staged a peaceful protest to appeal to Governor Kayode Fayemi to consider reabsorbing them.
The protesters were the 568 primary and secondary school teachers employed by Governor Ayodele Fayose among the 2,000 employed after the July 14,2018 elections.
They stormed the Teaching Service Commission located within the state secretariat complex at about 8.30am, where they flaunted their letters of appointments to convince the people that they were legitimate workers.
The commissioner for Information, Muyiwa Olumilua, on Wednesday revealed government’s intention to sack the 2,000 workers and others whose appointments he said contravened the law.
Addressing newsmen on the contentious issue, the spokesman of the sacked workers, Mr. Olawole Ganiyu, said their claim was contrary to the pronouncement made by government that they were employed illegally, insisting that their appointments were in line with the civil service rule.
His words: “During the Fayose-led government, we were at home when vacancies were advertised. We paid N1,000 to buy forms. We wrote examinations and sat for interviews. Scores of the examinations were pasted at TSC.
“Later, qualified people who sat for interview and letters of appointments and posting were given to successful people. What was in our letter was that we are to work for three months before getting salaries; but we have not been paid a dime since eight months ago.
“Government must be passionate. We were born and brought up here in Ekiti. Most of us have relocated to our schools and worked hard. Some of us even resigned from our previous places of work to take up these appointments.”
Another victim, Mr. Akande Adekunle, expressed sadness that they could be allowed to suffer since September 28, 2018 when they were offered employments without any pay.
“We went through due process. It was a process that was legitimate. When the present government came, we expected a pronouncement from the government and TSC, but they said we should be working because our employment was legitimate.
“We have to clarify that we were not sponsored by politicians. We have no godfathers and government should be a continuum. Why are we being treated this way? It was shocking that they said we didn’t pass through due process.
“One of us lost her pregnancy, because of the shocking news. People of goodwill should intervene in this matter. We should not be sacrificed on the altar of politics; we don’t carry party cards.”
The Chairmen of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Com Joshua Kolapo and his counterpart in Trade Union Congress (TUC), Com Sola Adigun, begged the government to rescind the decision and reabsorb the workers.
However, a release signed by Fayemi’s Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, said the governor did not sack any one , saying “you cannot sack people duly employed in the first place.
“The recruitments were obviously mischievous because they neither followed due process nor were ever completed.
“The affected persons were not duly captured in the Civil Service Structure. Apart from a letter of “employment, they do not exist in the State Civil Service Nominal Roll.
“They were never captured in the State’s Biometric payment system and never received any salary since the purported “appointments.”