Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has described as false and cheap blackmail a report that he accused the state chapter of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of collecting a bribe of N10 million from his Ekiti state counterpart, Ayodele Fayose, in order to instigate Ondo civil servants to embark on industrial action.

Akeredolu said he did not raise such an allegation against the TUC or anybody during Wednesday’s meeting with the state Joint Negotiation Committee of the workers.

According to him, the meeting was part of his administration’s efforts to sustain the existing robust relationship with the state workforce.

A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Yemi Olowolabi, said Akeredolu used the occasion to remind the labour union of his earlier promise to make their welfare a priority.

Olowolabi said the governor was commended at the meeting by the JNC Chairman, Abel Opeyemi Oloniyo, for his commitment to the civil servants’ welfare,

“It is imperative for us as a responsible government to set the record straight and repudiate efforts of mischief makers to distort the facts of the meeting between the workers and the governor.

“For the purpose of clarity, the meeting, which held inside the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Akure, was part of the efforts of the government to sustain the robust relationship with its workforce,” he said.

Olowolabi said it was curious for the TUC to react to non-existent allegation of bribe and complicity to cause confusion when the governor did not mention any union in particular.

He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Akeredolu remains committed to his covenant of excellent service delivery to the people of Ondo State and as such, cannot be intimidated by cheap blackmail or sheer threats from any quarters. Only the guilty are afraid.”

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