By Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
Members of the National Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE) on Monday protested against what they described as “unnecessary intervention its affairs by the state government”.
The protesters blocked the main entrance into the State Secretariat bearing placards, as security operatives barricaded the gate thereby preventing the protesters from assessing the complex.
Some of the placards had inscriptions such as, “Stop the Kangaroo election”, Release our Monthly Deduction”, etc. While the protesters sing different solidarity songs in front of the Secretariat.
Men of the Nigerian police, State Joints Task Force, and operatives of Amotekun were also at hand to forestall the breakdown of law and order.
Speaking with journalists, Osun NULGE Chairman, Comrade Adeyeye Jacob said it is an aberration for the state government to intend to help the union conduct an election when a court order stopping such election is yet to be vacated.
“The National Secretariat sent a circular to us to conduct the election and we informed them that there is an injunction restricting us from conducting the election, they should wait till the judiciary resumes from the strike.
“We have appealed to the aggrieved parties to withdraw the case and we promised the government that as soon as they did so, we will go ahead with the election but they said no that we should go ahead and conduct the election.
“In Ibadan, Oyo State, there was an election we conducted and almost a year plus, the election was eventually canceled, they want the same thing to happen here in Osun and I think that was the beginning of the crisis.
“What we learned is that the government released a circular and the circular is supposed to be for reconciliation as pronounced by the Governor but a top government official was said to have tempered with the circular seeking to conduct, monitor, and supervise election for NULGE, which is an aberration.
“Our demand is that the government should cancel the election for tomorrow, they should instruct the national not to conduct the election, they should allow all the aggrieved parties to withdraw cases from the court, then we conduct the election”, he said.
However, the State Government denied interfering with the NULGE election, saying it is entirely an affair of the union.
“NULGE election is entirely an affair of the union, what we did was just to issue a circular directing Council Managers across the state to ensure that the process is peaceful”, he said.