Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose and leaders of the Organised Labour in the state have come under what the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), Ekiti State chapter, described as conspiracy against proper use of the Paris Club refund released to the state, recently, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The APC had particularly criticized Governor Fayose for allegedly diverting the refund amounting to N8.8 billion intended by the Federal Government would be used by Ekiti State government, like other troubled states unable to pay their workers in the country, to offset salaries and retirees’ allowances.
The party accused Organised Labour of conspiring with the governor in the alleged mismanagement of the funds.
It would be recalled that labour unions in the country had been accused in the past of being part of the corruption and abuse of office by political officer holders being, according to the accusers, that they were the ones carrying out the embezzlement of state money on behalf of the governors.
The APC, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatunbosun, on Sunday, slammed the labour leaders for alleged complicity.
Describing Governor Fayose as “callous” for his alleged refusal to use the funds to pay salaries, pensions and severance allowances like his counterparts in other states, the APC said Ekiti labour leaders were hobnobbing with him in an “unholy alliance to protect the governor for their personal benefits.”
Defending the governor and the labour leaders, however, the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused the APC of feeding the public with lies.
In a statement by its its Publicity Secretary, Jackson Adebayo, the PDP said the allegations against Fayose “have further confirmed that the APC is peopled by confused and ignorant minds who will fail any economic question,“ even as it implored labour unions to ignore the party describing raising issues with it as “dancing with mad men in the market.”
PDP said the attack on the labour unions was because the unions had refused to kowtow to the APC which it accused of habouring plans to destabilise the state, adding that the opposition was frustrated by the defeat it suffered in the 2014 election.
But the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s spokesman, Olatunbosun, declared that “nobody was fooled by Fayose’s payment of one month salary of eight months he is owing,” adding that, “The governor’s claim that the wage bill had doubled without promotion of workers and fresh recruitment is unacceptable.
“It is more worrisome that whenever labour leaders chose to talk on the welfare of Ekiti workers, they always defend the governor who has pauperised the workers.
“Fayose has fixed N5.3 billion of this money in Skye Bank so that he can benefit from the interest. The balance of N3.5 billion is in the JAC Account.
“Fayose only spent the state’s monthly allocation, which has accumulated for many months, to pay one month salary while giving the impression that he paid the salary from the new bailout he collected.”
The party said the “latest callous conduct” was a confirmation of its view that Fayose had never been sincere and transparent in his financial dealings.
“We call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to pay more attention to Ekiti State finances and ensure that Fayose uses the new bailout to pay salaries.”