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Akala soft-pedals on deduction of teachers’ salary

By Ola Ajayi

IBADAN—DUE to the threats by the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, Oyo State wing, to reject its March salary if the Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala-led administration deducts the controversial 2.5 percent National Housing Fund, the government may have soft pedaled on the issue.

This was disclosed to Vanguard by the State Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Mr. Bashiru Apapa in an exclusive interview. He said the government had directed that the deduction be put on hold until some things were put in place.

The State Secretary of the union, Mr. Olu Abiala, had alleged that state government had concluded plans to effect the deduction at the end of this month.

Apparently referring to the court injunction that stopped the governor from withholding the check-off dues of the NUT, Comrade Apapa advised the governor to obey the law of the land because it was the same law that gave him the executive power.

Instead of the governor to be locking horns with labour and other unions in the state, he said, it would be wise for him to sit down and ponder over this after leaving the office.

He said, “Let him go and look at the ex-governors. Yesterday, they were there and today they are no longer there. He is our governor today just because the law protects him. Tomorrow, he will be a former governor and become an ordinary man like anyone of us”.

The governor, according to him, had to improve on his relationship with the labour leaders in the state, otherwise the level of antagonism between the government and labour leaders would increase.

“By the time the governor begins to disobey the law of the land which he swore to uphold, definitely we are heading towards lawlessness and anarchy. The government should learn how to obey the law because it is not above the law. I have never seen a government that is violating the court orders as if it is above the law. Whereas when they have problem, they would go to court. If we will not obey the court, then why do we have the court?,” he asked.

He also reminded the governor to remain impartial to all the unions in the state adding that the governor had ignored a letter forwarded to him on provision of vehicles for the union and added that the governor had acceded to the demand by the Trade Union Congress led by Mr. Bayo Ajayi while he turned deaf ears to that of the NLC.

Comrade Apapa lamented that the car bought for the union by the administration of Alhaji Lam Adesina which has now become rickety was what the union still uses.

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