An interest group in Ekiti State workforce, the Enlightened Workers
Forum (EWF) has criticized labour leaders over an alleged plan to
honour Governor Ayo Fayose with “the Comrade Governor Award” at the
May Day celebration on Monday.
The group berated the leaders of the state councils of the Nigeria
Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Joint Negotiating
Council (JNC) and other unions planning the award accusing them of
insensitivity to the plight of workers.
In a statement on Sunday signed by its Coordinator, Mike Bamidele, the
EWF contended that Fayose does not deserve the award labour leaders
are planning to confer on him because workers and pensioners are
suffering under his administration.
The workers claimed that the deal for the award was sealed at a
‘secret’ meeting the representatives of unions allegedly held with the
governor where it was agreed that N10 million would be committed into
The statement read in part: “By the way, why thois award and why the
Labour? Is it to appreciate him (Fayose) for punishing us unduly?
Right now, the workers are being owed six months arrears of salary,
local government workers eight months and pensioners seven months.
“Are we to thank him for making us celebrate the last Xmas without
salary for the first time in the history of the state or for the Xmas
bonus of only five per cent of basic while his predecessor paid 30 per
cent of same?
“Though we had listened to the governor’s cooked up stories on how his
predecessor threw the state into imaginary debt but in the real sense
of it, Ekiti had no excuse at all to owe salary if the man in charge
had been honest and if the “cash and carry’ Labour had been alive to
The state NLC Chairman Ade Adesanmi described the EWF as a “faceless
group” that should not be dignified with any answer challenging
members of the group to come into the open and cooperate with labour
leaders to make lif better for workers.
He explained that “Comrade Governor” to be given to Fayose “is not an
award but a decoration” to appreciate what he has done for workers.
Adesanmi added: “It is not an award but a decoration that we supposed
to have done last year but we suspended it when Ekiti lost six doctors
in an auto accident in April last year.
“I want to say that this group of people cannot be hiding under a name
and be spreading falsehood; we don’t know them, we don’t know their
office and we don’t know their phone number.
“If they are really concerned about workers’ welfare, let us know them
so that we can work together but it is not good for them to be hiding
somewhere and be throwing stones. If there are things they feel we are
not doing right let them come into the open and tell us.”