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Sacked Ekiti workers, labour protest at Assembly complex

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The 21 workers allegedly sacked by the Ekiti State House of Assembly, yesterday, protested with organised labour at the Assembly complex against their dismissal from service.

The protesters, led by labour leaders, chanted anti-government slogans during the agitation. Addressing the dismissed workers, the Secretary of the Ekiti State Joint Negotiating Council, Gbenga Olowoyo, said it was wrong for Ekiti State Assembly Service Commission to have speedily sent the names of the affected workers to the accountant-general to stop their salaries, amid negotiation.

He said: “We are here to express our rejection of the summary dismissal of these 21 staff of the House of Assembly; though the commission denied ever sacking anyone, which was not true.

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“We learnt from good authority that they have forwarded their names to the accountant-general to stop their salaries, while denying them access to the assembly complex, despite being on the payroll for 10 years.”

While not disputing the assembly’s right to audit its staff, he insisted on the process having a human face. Also, the secretary of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Lawrence Kuloogun, and his Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) counterpart, Taiwo Akinyemi, said that sacking of the workers was not only inhuman, but embarrassing to the workforce.

They stated: “The Commission must reverse to status quo. They should not distribute any letter anymore and they must retrieve the ones already served, for our workers to live good and worthy lives.”

But chairman of the commission, Taiwo Olatunbosun, said the just released report of the staff audit was part of the efforts to reorganise the legislative service commission for effective and quality service delivery, in line with the scheme of service.

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Olatunbosun added that the audit, which started last year, was due to complaints, agitations and petitions from members of staff on allegations of irregular advancement, absenteeism, arbitrary promotion and placement of officers above colleagues without regards to scheme of service.

He said: “The outcome of the report has since been discussed with the management staff of the commission and the leadership of the state chapter of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN).

“The commission wishes to stress that the routine staff audit was carried out in good faith without any intention of vendetta, witch-hunt or victimisation against anyone. It is equally important to note that the exercise will assist the commission to restructure, reposition and bridge the generational gap in the establishment.”

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Gbenga OlowoyoNLCTUC
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