The All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State has slammed Governor Ayodele Fayose for the non-payment of workers’ November and December salaries.
The party said it was ungodly for a leader to enjoy Christmas bliss and deny the people their entitlements at the time members of their families look up to them to provide food during the yuletide.
But Fayose maintained on Thursday that he had paid workers their December salaries, urging the APC to always crosscheck its facts.
In a statement by its state Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatubosun, the APC recalled that by December 18 last year, all workers had received their salaries and Christmas bonuses in addition to their leave bonuses while pensioners were also paid.
He claimed that Fayose grudgingly asked banks to pay workers half of their salaries on the night of December 24 after bitter complaints from workers.
The statement read in part, “It is evil for a leader to deduct N2, 000 from the salaries of each worker for the purpose of buying them Christmas gifts only to give them each a chicken smaller than a pigeon worth less than N800.
“It is callous to take convention funds for the delegates of your party members in the guise that you are spending it for Christmas gifts only for you to keep more than half of that money in your pocket while your party members go hungry during this festive period.”
The APC said the Ekiti people were suffering under Fayose, adding that there was growing insecurity of life and property in the state.
“On Christmas eve when our people were supposed to be in celebration mood, Ekiti frustrated workers were in queues at ATM points waiting for salary alerts. Today, nightlife is gone in the state capital because there are no streetlights again. Armed robbers and pickpockets are back in the state capital, terrorising residents at night.
“The governor promised Ekiti people rice and chickens for Christmas but only gave one and a half “congos” of rice and one “oromodiye” (chicken) that costs less than N800 and not fit for consumption,” he said.
Olatubosun urged the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control to conduct an investigation into the suitability of the chickens the governor gave out to workers for consumption, noting that rearing seven-month-old chickens for consumption is cruelty against animals.
The APC spokesman said instead of giving Ekiti youths a promising future, the governor had turned them to an army of beggars and hangers-on.
He added that while the governor did not have any youth empowerment scheme to create jobs for Ekiti youths, he had been using his personal mechanics from his Ibadan base to service government vehicles in the Government House.
However, Fayose’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, who refuted the allegations, said the APC as an opposition should not be lazy in extracting facts from the government, saying the salaries of workers had been paid.