The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has condemned Governor Ayodele Fayose’s decision to join the state workers’ strike.
It said the governor’s action portrays him as unserious leader not prepared for the challenges of governance.
Ekiti workers had last week begun an indefinite strike over unpaid deductions, allowances and salaries spanning five months and the governor at the weekend also declared to embark on indefinite strike purportedly in solidarity with the workers.
But reacting in a statement on Sunday, APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said the governor’s decision to join the strike portrayed him as a leader who had turned a serious business of governance to “a moonlight drama”.
Berating Fayose for mocking the civil servants by declaring strike in solidarity with Ekiti workers, Olatunbosun said his action spoke much about his personality as “a man bereft of finesse to be entrusted with the leadership of the people for development”.
Describing Fayose’s conduct as a height of insensitivity of a callous leader, Olaunbosun said:
“Fayose’s self-imposed strike could not have been in solidarity with Ekiti workers, but a mockery of their present suffering caused by him and which he obviously enjoys.
“Fayose’s lies, inhuman and reckless statement on television that he cannot sell his children to pay salary is an acceptance of failure, so he should resign from that position.
“There is starvation in the state over failure to pay salary, which has made workers’ conditions so bad that some of them have resorted to stealing from neighbours before they can eat.
“Thieves are all over the place carting away foods in the process of cooking in the kitchen while raw foods and soup ingredients, such as yams, garri, tomatoes, pepper, parcels of ‘eba’ are being stolen by hungry Ekiti people.
“How many Ekiti workers can afford to send their children to any of the secondary schools in Ekiti which Fayose have heavily taxed let alone sending them to the highbrow schools that Fayose’s children attend abroad? This is very wicked and inhuman.”
He added: “Fayose has shown himself as a man in government to take care of himself alone.
“He takes N250m security vote monthly and so he doesn’t care if workers and their families go on empty stomachs while serving their state.
“While other governors that faced a challenge similar to that of Ekiti State engaged their workers with honesty and frankness needed to thaw that kind of crisis, Fayose believes in employing lies to deceive Ekiti workers with over-bloated salary figures and distorted federal allocations and IGR profile.
“As a greedy and selfish man, Fayose knows he will profit by workers’ strike, as he will conserve money for buying fuel for the generators that supply light to power the offices, even though he will still quote the same figures he spends on the same service when there was no strike.
“This is how he quotes the same wage as former Governor Kayode Fayemi after erasing about 28,000 people from the wage bill of Ekiti State Government, the same way he claims to spend N210m monthly to power streetlights even though NUPENG’s figures show that the government
gets N7m worth of diesel supply every month.”
The party also berated the governor for playing double standard in his approach to workers’ strike over wage.
“While half-heartedly pleading with workers to resume work and at the same time mocking them by deciding to join the strike, the same governor was the one instigating workers to protest against the Federal Government over fuel price hike and when he realised that the strike was not popular, he started mobilising thugs to attack people found on the streets and force traders to close their shops in protest against Buhari over fuel price hike.
“While Buhari engaged Nigerians with facts and figures on the nation’s economy and Nigerians knew he was honest, they resolved to cooperate with him, but Fayose relies on lies and deceits to sustain himself economically while Ekiti people suffer unjustly,” he explained.
Olatunbosun urged the governor to resign if he cannot make honesty the cornerstone of his administration or if he lacks the capacity to govern the state.