– Says administration can’t silence dissent voices
Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
Civil society coalition in Osun state has described the decision of the state governor, Ademola Adeleke to offset salary arrears owed active and passive workers as great relieve to workers.
The group under the aegis of The Osun Masterminds, TOM, also berated the administration’s attempt to stiple dissenting views in the state, saying such move is undemocratic and uncivil.
Speaking at it monthly state-of-the-State in Osogbo, the state capital, the group’s Executive Director, Professor Wasiu Ali-Oyedokun, said the willingness displayed by Governor Adeleke to redress the injustice meted to workers is highly commendable.
His words, “We commend the Osun State Governor, Sen. Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, for his recent approval of the payment of salary arrears owed Civil Servants in the State by the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. We particularly commend him for the willingness he has displayed in righting the wrongs that may have been done in the far and near past.
“We want to reiterate that the decision by the Aregbesola government to modulate salaries in such manner was in the first place not pro-people and it was a direct consequence of the administration’s well known penchant for profligacy, which the innocent workers should not have been made to pay for.
“We sincerely commend Mr. Governor for righting this wrong and we anticipate that he will set up a policy framework that will ensure the implementation of payment according to the schedule outlined in the circular that we sighted so that the payment instruction does not end up in the dustbin”.
The group, however, berated the administration’s attempt to gag dissenting voices in the state, saying the state cannot afford to go the way of autocratic leadership.
“We first must address an attempt to blackmail this group by persons loyal to the government of the day in Osun State. It is distasteful and in bad spirit for any person or group of persons to attempt to take stifle the exercise of our rights of association and rights to speak loud and freely about issues that concern us and our families resident here in Osun and Nigeria. The Osun Masterminds is a coalition of like-mind groups committed to the promotion of democratic ideals and transparent governance in Nigeria.
“Our group is not a nongovernmental organization; we are not a business concern; we do not solicit nor receive donations from anywhere or anyone; we totally self-fund and are doing this out of our deep desire to see a better Osun and Nigeria in our own time. Anyone trying to paint a different picture of this group or our members is a cheap blackmailer and a coward who instead of engaging us based on our position on trending issues, is deciding to sling mud on us.
“Attempts by anyone to sponsor malicious write-ups against us or any such group as ours, is thus an attempt to stifle the voice of criticism and drag our State down to the deep, dark and endless abyss of autocracy, a style totally alien to democratic ideals. We will not be bullied into silence by a mob that has no more stake in the Osun project than our members do”, he added.
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