Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola has been described as a pathological liar by the workers and pensioners in the state, saying he’s not worthy of being a governor.
In a reaction to the assertion by the governor that the state was not owing any salary to his work force, the workers called on the state house of assembly to begin an impeachment process against the governor for lying publicly to Nigerians and the entire work on the true state of affairs in his state.
Governor Aregbesola had on Wednesday in Oshogbo declared that he did not owe any worker in his state salary, stressing that the state in spite of paucity of funds, had been able to pay salaries and pensions up to date. He was at a conference on fighting terrorism and kidnapping through community policing where he made the statement that has now pitched him against the workers in the state.
A teacher in one of the state secondary schools, simply identified as Fagbola, described the governor’s statement as unfortunate. He said he would have said the governor was misquoted if he did not watch the governor on a national television. According to him, the state still owes its workers about 24 months half salary arrears. He said the governor started his half salary policy in July 2015.
According to him, many workers in the state have turned to debtors and beggars to be able to keep body and soul together. He said the governor had run the state aground with his style of leadership that has turned him into an emperor.
‘’We can’t pay our children’s school fees. Many workers in the state have withdrawn their children from private schools because they could not afford the fees’’, Fagbola said. He said the state of affairs in Osun State had encouraged social vices like armed robbery amongst the youths ‘’while both single and married women now take to prostitution as a trade in the state’’.
A pensioner, Biola Adetona described the governor’s assertion as a blatant lie. ‘’How can he say he is not owing any worker salary or pension, the Octogenarian asked rhetorically. Adetona said he served the state for 35 years before he retired. He said he had been receiving ‘half’ pension since July 2015. He explained that only pensioners who collect N20, 000 and below received full pensions while those with N80, 000 and below have been receiving 75 percent pension since July 2015. Adetona who said he fell into the category of N80, 000 brackets, lamented that pensioners in the state were, however, being owed about 12 months’ arrears. ‘’For the governor to say he’s not owing any salary or pension is most unfortunate’’, he said in a voice laden with grief.
Another respondent who spoke with the Street Journal on condition of anonymity admitted that he was in the private sector; but quickly added that it was most unfortunate that the governor made such a statement while it was an open secret that the state was still owing its workers and pensioners some arrears. He said the governor’s statement was a testimony of a drowning government trying to hold on to anything insight for survival. ‘’The workers understand with the governor, hence the semblance of industrial harmony that has existed between them and government; why tell lies at this point in time? He asked rhetorically. In sane climes, he said what the governor had done was an impeachable offence.
All efforts to speak with the chairman of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC in Oshogbo proved abortive as he was said to be out of town. A source close to the state chapter of NLC however, confided in our correspondent that labour would react to the governor’s statement appropriately at the right time.