The face-off between the Ogun State Government and Labour Union in Ogun State assumed a dirtier dimension yesterday, following outrage by the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, who vows to crush any worker in the state, who attempt to run down his government.
Mr. Amosun, on Wednesday chided the state workers for their threat to embark on an indefinite strike on Thursday, saying they were unreasonable in their demands.
The Governor while speaking at a town hall meeting organised by the Ministry of Budget and Planning, at June 12 Cultural Centre Abeokuta, lashed out at the workers and maintain that he could not give what he does not have.
The workers had issued an ultimatum to embark on a strike on Thursday if the government failed to heed to their demands.
The government had also responded with a threat of no work no pay, should the workers make good their threat to commence strike on Thursday.
Governor Amosun said it was irritating to see workers pressing for a strike given the public knowledge of the financial status of the state.
He said despite the nationwide financial challenges, his administration remained a leading state in the payment of salaries and welfare of workers.
‘We all know this, yet some are not using their brains. They don’t have brains and they don’t know what they are doing,” he said
“They don’t have sense. I cannot give what I don’t have. Teachers alone collect N2 billion monthly.”
“If you want to join politics go and resign, you can then become card carrying member of political parties, you can start printing posters if you want to contest,” Mr. Amosun said.
The governor also declared that his administration would crush any civil servant who wants to run down the government without justification.
Meanwhile, efforts by traditional rulers in the state to persuade the workers not to embark on the planned strike action suffered set back as the workers boycotted a dialogue with the monarchs.
The Chairman of the Traditional Council, Kehinde Olugbenle, the Olu of Ilaro, said the workers expressed total disregard for the traditional institution and elders by shunning the parley.
“The Paramount Rulers and all Obas in Ogun State are not in support of any call by the organised labour to call workers out to embark on any action at a critical time in the history of our nation,” the monarch said.
“Strike is not the solution to the problem confronting the nation as the critical productivity sectors of the State will suffer.
“The organised labour are enjoined to show understanding and perseverance during this recession period with the state government that is striving within its means to ensure that salaries are paid regularly as and when due, compared to their contemporaries in other states being owned several months of unpaid salaries.”
The Chairman of the Joint Negotiation Council, Abiodun Olakanmi, in reaction to the governor’s remark said he would not engage the government in verbal war.
“What is paramount to us for now is going on strike to press home our demands,” he said.