Scores of Oyo State workers were again stranded outside the Oyo State Secretariat as they turned up to resume work on Tuesday. The workers were milling around the Secretariat gates as the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress, and other affiliate bodies took charge of the gates.
Recall that ODUDUWA NEWS, had yesterday published that Oyo state workers shutdown Agodi secretariat over some of their demands yet to be met by the governor.
One of the workers, who was among those stranded at one of the gates that leads into the secretariat and spoke to Oduduwa News, pleaded anonymity as she expressed her displeasure over her inability to resume at the office.
She noted that although the country has been hard hit since the removal of subsidy from petrol, which was followed by a massive increase in petrol pump prices, she is hopeful that Governor Seyi Makinde, who has always given priority to workers’ welfare, would come to their rescue.
Governor Makinde had, through his biweekly newsletter On July 27 intimated his plans to roll out more sustainable actions to cushion the effects of subsidy removal, which has made life difficult for Nigerians. He said, “We have heard our people’s call for palliatives due to the prevailing economic situation in the country. We have already taken some measures in terms of expanding the routes of our Omituntun Bus service and ensuring that transport costs are not increased. But we know there is more to be done, and in the coming weeks, we will be rolling out more sustainable actions for the benefit of our people.”
However, the leadership of the NLC insisted on going on strike unless Governor Makinde addressed them directly. Some inscriptions on their placards read: “We want to meet with the Governor and not his representative” and “Our full salary is not enough for our transportation to our place of work.”
Some of the Oyo State workers had arrived early to work to beat the NLC gate closure and were seen at their desks trying to work. The NLC had unsuccessfully tried to chase everyone out of the Secretariat earlier.
The NLC claims that the protest is to express dissatisfaction with the current situation in the country and also to demand the harmonisation of salaries for pensioners, palliatives for civil servants as well as payment of outstanding dues.
Speaking on this, the Special Adviser on Labour Matters to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Adebayo Titilola-Sodo, said Governor Seyi Makinde remains committed to workers’ welfare. He said the protests were unnecessary as the government was already meeting the demands of labour.
You will recall that Governor Makinde had in 2020 provided free bus service for civil servants and the busses are still in use.
As of the time of filing this report, the five entrances that lead into the Oyo State Secretariat were still being manned by NLC comrades while security operatives are on standby to ensure tensions do not escalate