Despite the decision of labour leaders under the aegis of Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress, Oyo state councils, workers under the employ of the Oyo state government on Monday in their hundreds attended the Annual Interreligious service organised by the government to officially begin the working calendar year.
The labour leaders while responding to an earlier invitation sent to it by the organisers, noted that it resolved at an emergency meeting convened to discuss the matter to boycott the event.
The letter dated January 11, 2019, and signed by Comrades Kofo Ogundeji and Mayowa Falegbe, NLC and TUC state secretaries respectively also added that members have been “directed to continue with their daily communion with their creator.”
But the event was not only well attended by the workers from across all the local governments of the state; it also saw 47 workers bagging the awards of “Most Efficient Civil Servants/Public Servants”, from across the government Ministries, Agencies and Departments.
The award also attracted cash prizes to promote and encourage efficiency among the government workforce.
The event was also attended by government officials, members of the state executive council, members of the state house of assembly, representatives of the judicial arms, and permanent secretaries among others.
At the event which was the last for the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration saw the Governor bidding the workers farewell while charging them to sustain the tempo and culture of efficiency and effectiveness which his administration has brought into public service.
However, the labour leaders cited many anomalies and maltreatment of the workers as the reasons for directing the workers to ignore the prayer programme.
The letter of the labour leaders reads in parts, “that the tense atmosphere among the workforce in the state where promotion was earned and treacherously withdrawn will not attract workers to honour any prayer programme organised by the state government.
“That where the issue of unpaid 3-18 months arrears of salaries of tertiary institution was not generally addressed will not convince our members to attend such prayer programme.
“That the suffering and anguish of retiree Primary Schools teachers and retired local government employees arising from unpaid arrears of gratuity and pensions will not allow attendance at such prayer programme.
“That the hostile stance of government towards the workers of the state cannot attract our members to the programme.
“Based on the above, labour movement in the state is not interested in the prayer programme and had resolved to boycott the event. Instead, our members have been directed to continue with their daily communion with their creator.”
While addressing the workers, Governor Ajimobi urged them to be diligent, hardworking and efficient, saying such was a factor to attain greater height.
He pointed out that laziness, truancy, misappropriation, disloyalty, negligence have their rewards while hard work, inattentiveness, creativity, diligence, professionalism; dedication enjoys spiritual and material benefits.
Ajimobi said, “My speech this afternoon shall be in two-fold; to appreciate the good people of Oyo State and to bid you all farewell. There is a saying that there is nothing that has a beginning without an end.
“The journey which is gradually coming to an end in the middle of this year started with a bold step on May 29, 2011. In the face of many challenges, ups and downs, we were still able to sail through, courtesy of the wisdom of God as well as perseverance and endurance of the good people of Oyo State.”
The governor said that his administration which remained 135 days and 10 hours has successfully delivered on the benefits of democracy in the state, noting that he has also succeeded in changing the attitude of the civil servants which has helped the workers improve tremendously.
Earlier in her welcome remarks, Oyo State Head of Service, Mrs Hannah Ogunesan, appreciated the governor for his unparalleled achievements as governor of the state, saying he has raised the bar of good governance.
Ogunesan challenged workers in the state to ensure they all earn their pays through rededication to service, continuous self-development and commitment to enhanced productivity.
The awards recipients including Miss Modupe Fehintola, a Senior Reporter with the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State(BCOS) and Mrs Ojo Aboyede, a Senior Information Officer, with the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, expressed gratitude to the state government for the award, promising that the honour would spur them to do more.