Barely four days to the sacking of 200 workers of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, there is palpable tension in Ekiti State over another alleged plot by the state government to sack 10,000 more of its core workforce.
The mass disengagement, according to a source in Office of the Head of Service, who spoke with The Nation on condition of anonymity, will cut across all the government’s tertiary institutions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the state.
This was coming barely a month after over 900 staff of the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti were sacked and four days after 200 workers of the institution’s Teaching Hospital were also laid off for alleged certificate forgery, irregular appointments and other sundry allegations.
It was learnt that the affected workers were those in Ekiti State College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission (NULGE), Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State, Ekiti State Water Corporation, Ekiti School of Health technology, Ijero=Ekiti, Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Primary School Teacher, Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) Secondary School Teachers, Hospital Management Board, among others.
The source said the government’s alleged moves were based on the reports of the various visitation panels to the institutions, which were accepted by the government and later released as white paper.
“There is no doubt that government was planning to sack over 10,000 workers. Even the process has reached the hatching stage. So, in the next few days the affected workers would be laid off,” she said.
Meanwhile, the organised Labour in Ekiti has petitioned Governor Kayode Fayemi to express its displeasure and outright disapproval over what it called “arbitrary sack of its members”.
The labour unions added said that most disturbing was the rumour milling rounds that the gale of sack, which had hit the Ekiti State University (EKSU) and Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), will blow across all government’s tertiary institutions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Ekiti Chapter, Com. Sola Adigun, said the labour deemed the letter highly expedient , owing to insinuation that Governor Fayemi was not aware of the mass sack in EKSU and EKSUTH.
The letter dated January 3, 2020 and addressed to Governor Fayemi, was jointly signed by the Secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress, Com Taiwo Akinyemi, his counterpart in the Trade Union Congress, Com. Lawrence Kuloogun and Joint Negotiating Council’s Scribe, Com.Gbenga Olowoyo.
The letter read partly: “It is informative to bring to the notice of your esteemed office that the recent sacking scenario happenings around various sectors is not only worrisome but also called for serious attention because of the image that the developments is attracting to our dear state as well as the government of the day.
“For instance, information at the disposal of Organised Labour leadership as well as in the public domain indicated that those that were sacked, disengaged or compulsorily retired did not follow due process.
“Also, it is very disheartening to inform your Excellency that some workers that have four, three and two years were caught up in the web of this ugly development which is not in the best interest of entire workforce and generality of Ekitis.
“It is beyond our comprehension that one Mr. Femi Adeleye Daniel a staff in the Porter Departmental of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) was allegedly given compulsory retirement, vide a letter with reference EKSUTH/A/982 dated 24th December 2019, because of his involvement in the mobilisation of workers for workers’ congress meeting held at the Teaching Hospital premises”.
It added that flowing from the above, the organised Labour is seriously concerned with information milling rounds that the current sacking, compulsory and untimely retirement of workers, is a whirlwind that will soon blow across the entire workforce in the state.
“We don’t want to believe the rumors peddling around that the state government want to have mass disengagement of workers that have two or three more years in the Public Service of Ekiti State.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that some workers who were unjustly dismissed/ retired by the past administration but were reinstated by your administration which further buttress your good dispositions not only to workers but also to humanity; rather, it will be irony of life that similar things are now happening under your administration.”
The Labour said it was sad and worrisome, that the action would be undertaken at the Ekiti School of Health technology, Ijero Ekiti, Ekiti State College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission (NULGE), Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State, Ekiti State Water Corporation, Ekiti State Electricity Board, Ekiti State Housing Corporation, Core Civil Service, and Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), among others.
“Arising from the above, these developments have started causing disquietedness and uneasy calm among the workforce in Ekiti which requires Mr. Governor’s quick and fatherly intervention. It is expedient and imperative to remind His Excellency of his commitment that he will not allow anything untowards to affect the workforce in Ekiti State and you promised during your inaugural speech “that you are back as an healing balm on a painful wound.”
The labour stated further: “it is on the strength of the above commitment that the leadership of the organised Labour is hereby calling your attention to the above information in respect of Ekiti State University, (EKSU) and Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado Ekiti for your quick intervention to put a stop to these ugly trends so as not to give your administration and Ekiti State a bad name in the comity of States in Nigeria.
“It is unimaginable that management of any Governmental institution(s) could contemplate to give sack letters as Christmas and New Year gift to breadwinners. This is killing,” the labour concluded.
When contacted, the Commissioner of Information, Chief Muyiwa Olumilua said he could neither confirm nor deny the alleged plot to sack more workers.
“Well, I have no information to that effect. Although I also heard about the rumors but I can’t confirm nor deny it. I don’t know the true position. If I have any information I will let you know,” he said.