Remain on strike if you like, I can’t sell myself to pay salaries – Fayose tells striking Ekiti workers

Ayodele Fayose

Ayodele Fayose

The governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, in his usual way of being very vocal, has said he has no immediate solution to the demands of striking workers in Ekiti State, stressing that he cannot sell himself or his family to raise funds for the workers.

It will be recalled, the workers in Ekiti State had on Thursday begun an indefinite strike over government’s inability to pay five months salary arrears and for failing to refund deductions made from their December 2015 salaries.

However the governor said in a broadcast on Thursday that the workers must understand that strike was not an option and that the monthly wage bill was over N2bn but the state received as low as N751m in April.

He said, “Right now, I’m helpless. It is difficult to sell myself, my family or my property. I can only depend on what I get from Abuja. I want workers to understand that it is my priority to make them comfortable.

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“Even before going on their strike, I got to know that many of them no longer come to office while many others were coming late to office. Why I refused to come hard on those involved was that I had no moral justification to do so since I knew we were owing them.

“If workers want to go on strike, I sympathize with them but we will be here waiting till when they come back. I can’t sell myself to pay workers.

“I don’t have powers to go on strike, we shall be waiting till when they come back, but they must realise that strike is not the best option

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“Even in Government House, we don’t have money to power generators with diesel, whereas, I cannot sell myself or members of my family to raise funds, things are that difficult,” Fayose said.

The NLC Chairman, Raymond Adesanmi, in an interview with our correspondent said there was no going back on the strike.

“We are not saying the government should pay all the money at once. What we are asking for is a commitment. There should be a structured plan of how to settle all the arrears. When government is ready to dialogue, we will be waiting,” Adesanmi said.

The organised labour in Ekiti on Thursday began an indefinite strike to press home the demand for the outstanding five months salaries of workers.

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