Ahead of the next year’s governorship contest, different categories of workers in Osun State are taking their turns to endorse Governor Adegboyega Oyetola for another term.
The workers, under the auspices of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), yesterday openly declared their support for the governor, announcing publicly that they would “vigorously campaign” for his victory.”
Their support is coming barely a week after teachers, under the auspices of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), also endorsed the governor using the platform of the World Teachers’ Day.
Speaking at a three-day retreat organised by the Osun branch of the NULGE, the Union President, Mr Kehinde Ogungbangbe, said that since the coming of the governor three years ago, workers’ children no longer suffer any kind of deprivation as salaries now come in regularly.
Ogungbangbe noted that they are aware of enemies both within and without but said that the God who saw to the victory of the governor against all odds in 2018 is still the same God that would deliver victory to the governor in 2022.
He said: “Mr Governor, Sir, I want to say with utmost sincerity that we are highly fortunate to have you as our father and governor. Your level of humility and milk of kindness have brought peace and stability to our union in particular and the state in general. Osun State is no more in the news for the wrong reasons. We are happy to be associated with you. The Almighty God will continue to be with you.
“Your Excellency, we are quite aware of the forthcoming 2022 governorship election in the state. We are not unaware of lies and cries of numerous oppositions both within and without. Your Excellency, we are also quite aware that God who gave you victory against all odds in 2018 is still on the throne. Your God is not sleeping. We will support you and campaign vigorously for your victory, come next year,” the union leader said.
Also speaking, the National President of the Union, Mr Akeem Ambali, who conferred the honour of Patron of Union, South West Zone and the award of Labour-Friendly Governor for the South West on Oyetola, noted that the workers in the state are not ingrates. He said they would reciprocate the governor’s gesture handsomely during the election.
He commended the governor for putting an end to what he termed part-payment of salaries of workers and enjoined him to remain focused as workers would become his foot soldiers and would help correct some of the misinformation being spread by the opposition.
Earlier, the Osun NLC Chairman, Mr Jacob Adekomi, extolled the governor for continuously putting smiles on the faces of workers in the state as manifested in the regular payment of salaries and pensions among other emoluments.
Adekomi, who declared workers’ support and solidarity to the governor and his administration, said: “Anyone following the trend of things in Osun concerning the welfare of workers will not but give kudos to Governor Oyetola for redefining, repositioning and transforming the lives of workers.
“Any worker that follows this trend, particularly between 2015 and 2018 vis-a-vis what we earned then and what we are earning now in terms of full salaries payment will agree with me that there is no need to change the winning team. The governor has rekindled and restored our collective hope.
“If a man that has given us succour, put smiles on our faces and relieved our pains are asking us for support, there is no need to negotiate his return because he has made us proud and we are resolute to ensure his re-election. We are ready to give him absolute support to ensure his second term. We will canvass for him irrespective of what people say because when Osun workers were suffering we were the ones that were condemning it,” Adekomi stated.
Responding, Oyetola, who declared the retreat open, thanked the union leaders and members for the honour done him and charged local government staff to cooperate with council chairmen to develop the economy at that level.
“I was invited to declare this seminar open. I did not know I was an awardee. I thank you for the award. It will certainly spur me to do more,” he said.
Speaking to the theme of the retreat, “Labour Leaders and Unionism in Depraved Economy,” Oyetola said it was a call on workers and officials in the local governments to prove to the world that they have the capacity to deal with challenges and turn the state’s economy around.
He further said that “revitalising deprived economy answers to knowledge, strategy and political/collective will.
“Labour leaders and unions must, therefore, under the circumstances, rally their members to collaborate with government to think solution. Local government unions must constitute themselves into co-think tanks and faithful implementers of policies for the collective good.
“Our administration has demonstrated capacity and resolve to turn the economy of the state around through employment of workable economic strategies, including the convocation of Economic and Investment Summit, unleashing of infrastructure architecture to stimulate socio-economic development, employment of transparent governance and a strong political will.
“Within two years of convoking the summit, we have flagged off four business and trade concerns and several others are in the offing. We are also positioning our critical sectors, including Agriculture, Tourism and Mining, to radically transform our economy and make good our resolve to make Osun the economic hub of the South-west.
“Osun workers have been critical players in these initiatives. I urge you all as local government workers and officials to extend the same level of cooperation and commitment to the local government chairmen and councillors to transform the economies of the local governments and consequently our dear state.
“Let us all join hands together to amplify our conviction that it is possible to deliver prosperity and good governance in a democracy without inflicting more hardship on the people in a depraved economy.”