I’m on strike too, says Fayose
•Ekiti youth demand Gov’s resignation
Can a state governor go on strike apart from the annual leave he is entitled to? Is it constitutional for a state chief executive to embark on an industrial action?
This is the drama unfolding in Ekiti State where Governor Ayo Fayose has told the people of the state that he is now on an “indefinite strike” in solidarity with civil servants who have been on strike for almost two weeks to protest the non-payment of their five months salaries.
Government business and academic activities in public schools have been paralysed since May 24 when the labour unions in the state declared an indefinite strike action over the arrears of salaries owed them.
Fayose in a broadcast monitored on the state television by our correspondent yesterday said his own industrial action was to show that he shared the pains and frustrations of the workers in agitating for their pay.
But an interest group, Ekiti Youth Vanguard, has called on Fayose to resign if he has no solution to the problems of the workers who he promised to take care of during the 2014 governorship election campaigns.
The youth group slammed the governor for allegedly sponsoring protests against state workers on Tuesday when drivers unions members took to the streets condemn the two-week-old strike.
Labour leaders were angered by Fayose’s statement that he won’t sell his family to pay workers, describing the statement as ‘not only insensitive but inflammatory.”
The governor was explicit that what he has been declaring as amount accruing to the State as internally generated revenue and the N2.6 billion workers’ wage bill were true positions of the state finances.
“I want to tell workers that I have placed myself on indefinite strike in solidarity with you. I shared your pains , but it was rather unfortunate that a man can’t give what he doesn’t have.”
The Ekiti Youth Vanguard in a statement by its Director of Organisation, Bewaji Damilare, described Fayose as a “dangerously pretentious individual pretending to love the workers but denying them their legitimate salaries and still sponsoring protests to blackmail them for demanding their right from the government”.
They sympathised with the workers over hard times allegedly imposed on them and urged them to remain resolute and undaunted in theIr demand for their right in the face of harassment and intimidation by sponsored agents protesting against them on behalf of the governor.
The group warned the governor against sponsoring his agents to blackmail the workers, maintaining that such an act is dishonourable.
It also urged the workers to remain steadfast in the fight for their right as Ekiti people are solidly behind them.