Workers protest non-payment of salaries in Ondo, want accountant general sacked
A LARGE crowd of workers in the Ondo State government’s employ yesterday protested the non-payment of their outstanding salaries, and also demanded the immediate removal of the state Accountant General, Mr. Fredrick Ajibokun for the failure to carry out the directives of the state government on the payment of salaries.
The workers carried placards with various inscriptions: “Five months salaries, not a joke; Ondo government where is our bailout money; Ajibokun, accountant general must go; N14:68bn bailout fund fixed by Mimiko, the hardship is getting worse,” among others.
They mounted barricades at the entrance of the office of the accountant general, causing serious gridlock in the area for several hours, before heading to the Governor’s Office.
The Chairman of the state Joint Negotiating Council, Mr. Sunday Adeleye, while addressing the crowd, said the workers had evinced enough sense of maturity and understanding with the government which has adversely affected their well-being.
Adeleye explained that the state government had accessed the bailout fund for the past two weeks, affirming that it did not have any genuine excuse for not paying the workers’ salaries.
According to him: “Last week, the Commissioner for Finance told me categorically that he had directed the accountant general of the state as a matter of urgency to go ahead and pay all the workers outstanding deductions.
“The bailout fund came to the account of Ondo state government two weeks ago, they should have directed the accountant general to effect our payment, they failed.
I called the accountant general to confirm but he did not pick it. Every effort we made to get his side proved abortive, which means something is wrong somewhere. They must pay us before Sallah celebration.
We will continue to occupy this place until the government is ready to pay us all the five months salary and we are demanding the immediate removal of the accountant general because he has got to the peak of his career and I think it is high time for him to leave the office for another person who will listen to the yearnings of the entire workers. “
The state Head of Service, Toyin Akinkuotu, attributed the delay in the payment to the just concluded mop-up verification exercise.
Akinkuotu said the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko had directed the office of the accountant general to immediately effect the payment of their two months deductions and all the outstanding salaries.
The Chief of Staff to the governor, Dr. Kola Ademujimi appealed to the workers to keep on supporting the government, assuring them that their demands would soon be met by the state government.