13th July, 2011
The Ogun State government today denied the rumour that the Sen.Ibikunle Amosun-led administration in the state has concluded plans to sack at least 2,000 civil servants employed by the previous administration.
At least 2,000 civil servants who were offered employment a few weeks to the end of the administration of former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, today staged a protest, calling on the new government to temper justice with mercy on the review of their appointments.
The workers who cut across various skilled and unskilled divisions were reportedly absorbed into the state civil service by the former administration, most of them, after the April general elections in what was described as a â€œland mineâ€ move to destabilise the newly elected Sen. Ibikunle Amosun administration.
The protesting workers who stormed the Oke Mosan Governorâ€™s Office with various placards, urged the government to have their case positively looked into â€œas we are also stakeholders who freely exercise our mandate in the last general electionsâ€.
Some of the protesting workers said they should be paid their two months arrears of salaries.
They declared that â€œall we want is the payment of our outstanding salaries and we go.â€
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa who addressed the protesters said that â€œthe decision of the past administration to employ this large number of workers at the tail end of its tenure is best described as a landmine. It was meant to destabilise the new government.â€
The SSG dismissed rumours that the government had asked the affected workers to disengage from service immediately.
He maintained that the workersâ€™ action was â€œstrangeâ€, stressing that â€œas a government that rode to power on a popular mandate and has promised to create 10,000 new jobs, this is strange,â€ even as he pointed out that no responsible government would allow illegality to stand.
â€œWe have said that all those recruited in April by the last administration should go and re-apply. If you are here and you have not re-applied, please go and do that immediately.
â€œOn our part as a government, I can assure you that no single person that is qualified and who has passed through due process will be denied employment; they will be re-engaged immediately. We met a lot of rot when we came in and this government is still in the process of going through them one by one. What you are protesting about today is strange to me.
“This is a humane government that respects the rule of law. We wonâ€™t be taking away jobs but we will instead be creating jobs. That I can promise you,” the SSG said.
He disclosed that the two demands of the workers would be tabled before the governor for his next line of action.
After he spoke to the protesting workers, they made straight to the House of Assembly, where the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Surajudeen Adekunbi made similar remarks.
By Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta