Oyo Governor Refutes Claims On Privatisation Of Public Schools

Abiola Ajimobi, Education, Schools, OyoThe Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has cleared the air over the raging controversy about a new education policy, which the labour union said was aimed at selling public schools.

In a no holds barred consultative forum, Governor Ajimobi said the government had no intention to involve private group and individuals in the management of public secondary schools.

He apologised to the people of Oyo State over the crisis which erupted as a result of various misconceptions, admitting that advertorial should not have preceded the forum.

The Governor reiterated that no school was for sale or transfer to any concern and called on residents to join hands with the government to salvage the education sector in the state.

Meanwhile, the Oyo State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Waheed Olojede, insisted that there was no going back on the strike.

He stated that the union did not attend the consultative forum because they do not believe it was in the interest of the masses.

In his remarks, the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, appealed to the people of the state to exercise patience with the government and support policies aimed at improving the standard of living.

Religious and traditional leaders at the forum, including the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Akinyele, also sued for peace among stakeholders.

Labour Leaders Arraigned In Oyo For Alleged Disruption Of Public Peace

labour leaders arraigned Police have charged seven labour leaders in Oyo State after they were arrested as a result of crisis between the Oyo State government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on the issue of return of schools to private sector.

The NLC leaders were arrested by the Police in Ibadan on Thursday.

The Chairman of the Oyo State chapter of the NLC, Waheed Olojede and six other members of the congress were arraigned on a six-count charge of disruption of public peace and vandalism of public property.

The seven labour leaders, who appeared before Chief Magistrate Jamiu Adebisi of an Ibadan Magistrate Court-Three, were, however, granted bail.

Some leaders and members of the union, including members of civil society groups in the state, converged on the Magistrate Court in Iyaganku to condemn the infraction of the right of their leaders while police men barricaded the two entrances to the court.

Counsel to the defendants, Mr Olutayo Oyewale, had filed an application, requesting for their release on bail since the offence they were charged with was bailable.

Mr Oyewale stressed that the least punishment for such offense was a month in detention.

They therefore urged the court to refrain from being used to pervert justice, since those arrested and arraigned had secured police permit before embarking on their procession.

Chief Magistrate Adebisi said section 35, sub section one of the Nigerian Constitution recognised the right of an accused person to bail until conviction.

He, therefore, granted all the seven labour leaders bail in the sum of 200,000 Naira and two sureties in like manner, who must be gainfully employed, possess National Identity Cards and have three years tax clearance.

The case has been adjourned till June 24 for both parties to present their witnesses.

Labour Unions Disrupt Education Forum In Oyo

Education, Oyo, Labour UnionsLabour unions Wednesday disrupted a stakeholders’ interactive forum on the future of public secondary schools in Oyo State, southwest Nigeria.

Some members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state invaded the Western Hall venue of the forum to chase participants out in the process.

The state’s NLC Chairman, Waheed Olojede, NUT Chairman, Niyi Akano, and the Coordinator of the Joint Action Front, Dr. Ademola Aremu, among other union leaders stormed the venue to prevent any dialogue from taking place.

Some of the participants, who came to represent missionaries at the event, had to scamper to safety as banners were torn while other stakeholders were chased out.

In a swift reaction, the Oyo State government condemned the attack on innocent members of the public describing it as ‘uncivilised and ill advised’.

Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Mr Olalekan Alli, said government was not selling any school nor returning any to former missionary owners.

Workers’ Day: Different Moods Witnessed In Southern Nigeria

Workers DayIt was a colourful display by civil servants resident in Lagos State as they held their Workers Day rallies at the National Stadium in Surulere.

Leaders of labour unions including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) spoke to workers on the need to uphold the values that guide their conduct as professionals in their disciplines.

The leaders also called on federal and state authorities to improve welfare packages while resolving persisting social economic challenges.

Akwa Ibom Deviates

The 2016 Workers day celebration in Akwa Ibom State took a different dimension from the traditional approach as workers in the state chose to mark the day with a Christian inter-denominational thanksgiving service.

Over the years, workers day has been associated with complaints and demands from the leadership of organised labour but what happened in Akwa Ibom State on May Day 2016 was a deviation from this age long convention as the state chairmen of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress led the workers in a thanksgiving service preceding the conventional Workers Day celebration.

The workers offered prayers of thanksgiving in appreciation for God’s divine protection. They sang and danced.

The second part of the event featured good will messages from stakeholders and government agencies.

The NLC Chairman, Comrade Etim Ukpong and the TUC Chairman, Comrade Akamba Awa highlighted some pending issues which require government’s attention.

Governor Udom Emmanuel acknowledged the role of Labour in the socio-economic development of the state and country and gave the assurance that his administration would continue to give priority attention to workers’ welfare.

Some of the workers who spoke to Channels Television said that although the state government is not owing them salaries, they want the review of the national minimum wage from N18,000 to N56,000 as demanded by the NLC.

The event which was held at Uyo Township Stadium recorded a high turn out by workers.

 Low Turnout in Oyo State

The turnout at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan, venue of the Workers Day rally in Oyo State was at an all-time low as most of those present were artisans while civil servants appeared to have boycotted.

The Oyo State branch of the Nigeria Labour Congress said that this year’s Workers Day celebrations is a time of great sober reflection as workers are suffering untold hardship as a result of unpaid salaries and the extreme inflation of prices of daily commodities in the market.

The NLC Chairman in Oyo State, Waheed Olojede, in his address commended the efforts of government at fighting insecurity in the country and implored both the federal and state governments to urgently devise better means of settling the huge labour bills pending across the country or face mass action.

In his goodwill address to workers, the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, who was represented by the Head of Service, Soji Eniade, expressed appreciation for the understanding shown so far by labour leaders.

He charged them to help government boost its revenue as government cannot function without the civil service.

Oyo Govt. To Pay Salaries With Federal Allocation

Oyo LabourOyo State government and the labour union have reached a mutually acceptable agreement over unpaid salaries of workers.

Both parties arrived at a satisfactory decision after three days of meetings and consultations between various arms of government and Labour.

The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Oyo State chapter, Waheed Olojede, made the disclosure after the meeting.

Mr Olojede said that the government has agreed that all its Federal Allocation would hereafter be devoted to payment of workers’ salaries.

Regretting the information gap that led to the seven-day ultimatum issued by labour, he hinted that the meeting resolved that a joint revenue mobilisation committee of labour and government would begin to drive, monitor and share any increase in Oyo State’s Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) between workers and government.

The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, had earlier described the ultimatum as illegal and that any strike would be met with a stiff penalty of ‘no work no pay’, insisting that Labour was aware of the fact on ground.

He had also secured a two-year suspension for debt relief in order to jack up Federal Allocation to the state, maintaining that workers should re-commit to devising ways of not just improving IGR but doing so significantly and consistently.