Ekiti 2022: Blackmail, lies Won’t Earn You Votes, Oyebanji Tells Oni
Mudslinging, lies and blackmail do not win votes, the BAO Campaign Organisation has said. The group said campaigns based on issues and oiled by integrity are expected from Ekiti aspirants in line with the time honoured tradition of decency Ekiti people are known for.
The group chided the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Segun Oni for employing dust of lies and cheap blackmail to promote his campaign.
Oni is facing widespread criticisms even from awed civil servants over his false claim that funds meant for pensions and gratuities were being used to buy vehicles and pay severance allowances to local government chairmen and former political office holders as a favour to lure them into supporting the aspiration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, in the June 18 election.
A statement made by the Deputy Director of Campaign, (Media and Publicity) Mr Wole Olujobi asked Mr Oni to show decorum in his utterances.
Olujobi counselled Oni to sell his campaign programmes to Ekiti people instead of spreading lies and propaganda to curry favour ahead of June 18 governorship election.
Oni had through his campaign spokesman, Idowu Adelusi, alleged that Governor Kayode Fayemi sacrificed the welfare of retired workers by spending money meant for their pensions and gratuities to curry political favours by diverting the money to buy vehicles for local government chairmen, including allegedly bribing the officials of the National Union of Local Government Employees ( NULGE) with N8million to campaign against Oni in favour of Oyebanji in the June 18 governorship election.
But a statement by the Deputy Director of Media and Publicity of BAO Campaign Organisation, Wole Olujobi, explained that Fayemi is only fulfilling his administration’s obligations to the elected officials at the local governments by giving them official cars while the allegation of bribing NULGE officials to support Oyebanji is a height of mischief and irresponsibility after it has become clear that Oni will reap the fruits of his callousness to local government workers during his administration between 2007 and 2010.
Olujobi also explained that instead of bribing local government leaders into supporting Oyebanji, the workers were only “naturally” responding to the harsh conditions under Oni’s past administration, preferring Oyebanji’s continuity agenda to consolidate on the gains the local government workers had enjoyed under Fayemi’s administration.
“This is a petulant blackmail by the leadership that once held a position without understanding the responsibilities that should go with that leadership.
“The local government chairmen statutorily deserve official cars. Severance payment is a statutory responsibility to the past political office holders. All of them are Ekiti people, some of whom are not even members of APC, and so we wonder why a man who professes to love Ekiti people will be angry that these sets of leaders enjoy their right to severance allowance.
“It is laughable that Oni is now agonising that local government workers are rooting for Oyebanji as Fayemi’s successor after Oni had unleashed terror on local government workers between 2007 and 2010 when he declared that local government workers were too many and so the workforce must be cut by half because he could not spend more than 40 percent of allocation to pay salary.
“To consummate this evil agenda to sack local government workers, Oni raised Captain Consult to audit local government workforce for the purpose of retrenchment.
“During staff audit, workers were asked to produce all manner of documents, including birth certificates, primary school certificates, resulting in many deaths in road accidents while travelling to obtain these documents.
“Besides these painful untimely deaths that turned many Ekiti youths to orphans, Oni’s illegal administration ended up sacking 2,000 local government workers, some of whom developed strokes that led to their untimely deaths.
“Few years later, Oni is now seeking the support of these same workers he made their lives miserable,” Olujobi explained.
He added that instead of accusing NULGE leaders of taking bribes, the union leaders and their members were only showing gratitude to the leaders of the administration that changed their fortunes for good by supporting them.
“Local government workers are not mad people. They have interests and they know how to protect that interest and who among political leaders that can protect their interests, and so, naturally, they will support any party that has the prospect of improving their careers and standards of living, and so they have chosen Oyebanji and rejected Oni who never hid his hatred for Local government workers in the past.
“Today, local government service has improved tremendously under Fayemi and the workers believe that it is only Oyebanji that can be trusted to continue that legacy of development and progress in the local government and not somebody who sent their colleagues to their early graves.
“While Oni made it a duty to cause local government workers maximum pains, Fayemi lifted local government system to unprecedented heights by fulfilling his campaign promises to local government workers before 2018 election.
“As part of his promises, Fayemi appointed, for the first time in history, a retired local government worker as the Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission, a Permanent Secretary from local government service while six Executive Secretaries and 40 Heads of Local Government Administration were also appointed.
“After a long wait, 62 officers were converted into the Administrative Officers’ Cadre; including appointment of 12 Administrative Officers; conversion of 69 officers into the Accountants’ Cadre; appointment of 181 junior and 200 senior staff into the Local Government Service, including Promotion/Advancement/Absorption/Conversion of 4,385 staff in the 2018/2019 promotion exercise, while Promotion/Advancement/Absorption/Conversion of 3, 552 workers were also effected.
“For the first time, Fayemi effected Directorisation of Cadres in the local government system while additional departments, such as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Procurement, Audit, Information, and Legal Services were also created, including adjustments in the salary scales of health workers that now move the salary scale for nurses from the seal of Grade Level 14 to grade level 16, also for the first time, including creation of 19 Local Council Development Areas that have created job opportunities and career growth,” he explained.
He added: “The workers are afraid that Oni, who said he could not pay workers when the nation’s economy was buoyant, would reverse all these gains if elected governor, particularly now that the economy has grown worse.
“Local government workers are naturally responding to these goodies by Fayemi’s administration by opting to support a candidate that can improve their lot and not about bribing workers as alleged by Oni.”