By Ola Ajayi
Ibadan—AS the country marked her democracy day yesterday, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State allayed the fears of thousands of workers in the state that the ongoing staff verification exercise in the public service was not a ploy to retrench nor an attempt to witch-hunt them.
Instead, he said the exercise was aimed at blocking loopholes and making the workforce not only effective, but efficient.
This came just as he promised to henceforth use all the federal allocation for the state to pay the backlog of unpaid workers’ salaries.
The governor, in an electronic mail sent by his media team, however, clarified that only workers who had skeleton in their cupboard had any reason to fear.
Governor Ajimobi, who recently suspended salaries of about 16,535 workers in the state, added that some of the affected workers had clarified their data entries with the verification panel he set up.
He said: “We are not unaware that political jobbers have gone to town with the tale that we are retrenching more than 16,000 workers. That is very untrue. As a matter of fact, quite a number of those 16,000 workers have already been cleared of any wrongdoing having clarified their data entries with the verification panel that we set up for the purpose.
“Only those who are unable to satisfactorily clear their issues have a cause for concern.
‘’While I empathize with workers and pensioners over the delay in the payment of salaries and pensions, which is a nationwide conundrum foisted on us by the dwindling allocation from the centre, I want to assure all and sundry that we are diligently working to break this painful and undesirable situation.”
“We are working hard to address the situation, part of which informed the decision by the government to concede and use 100 per cent of the state allocation from the Federation Account for the payment of salaries.”