Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has cautioned civil servants to be wary of the campaign gimmicks of the opposition, describing his administration as the best worker-friendly in the history of the state.
The governor stated this in a statement issued in Ibadan on Tuesday by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo.
He said the workers should not fall prey to the antics of his political opponents, particularly the two former governors currently in the gubernatorial race, who, he said, had been peddling false claims that they were workers’ messiah during their administrations.
Ajimobi noted that former Governors Rashidi Ladoja and Adebayo Alao-Akala had been bandying false credentials of being the best thing to have happened to civil servants during their tenures.
The incumbent governor is the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April 11 governorship election, while Ladoja and Alao-Akala are contesting under the platform of the Accord and Labour Party respectively.
Going comparative, the governor said that salaries of civil servants in the state had been reviewed upward twice between 2011 and 2014 which, he said, had made his administration the best thing to have happened to civil servants in the state.
For instance, he said the least paid civil servants on Grade Level 01 step 08 now receives monthly salary of N22,194.43 as against N10,875 under the administrations of Ladoja and Alao-Akala.
According to him, while civil servants on Grade Level 16 step 8 received monthly salary of N72,828 between April 2007 and May 2011, they are now receiving N158,683.75. The same situation applies to Grade Level 08 step 08 which now attracts N48,314.23 as against N29,146 under the administration of Ladoja and Akala.
“For discerning minds, this will clearly show that Ladoja and Akala are only out to tell lies so as to infiltrate the ranks of the workers who are earnestly yearning for the continuation of the Ajimobi administration,’’ he said.
As a testimony to the friendly disposition of civil servants to his administration, Ajimobi noted that the state had not recorded a single strike by the workers in the last four years.
“This is clearly a departure from the past when workers used to embark on incessant industrial actions during the two preceding administrations to press home their demands for salary increase and other welfare packages,’’ he said.
Governor Ajimobi also said that right from the inception of his administration, salaries of civil servants were being paid on the 25th of every month until the Peoples Democratic Party-led federal government threw states into difficult financial situations.
“It is also on record that this administration had paid the 13th month salary for three years consecutively aside other welfare packages such as upward review of car and housing loans, local and foreign trainings, free transportation for workers to and fro office, among others.
“One thing that gladdens our heart, however, is the fact that workers in Oyo State are among the best exposed. They are aware of the paucity of funds which has made it impossible for many states across the country to meet their financial obligations. But, in the face of this difficulty, Oyo State is not owing workers salaries.
“The civil servants are too sophisticated and intellectually endowed to be deceived by reactionary elements who had been there before but never used the opportunity to benefit them in any way,’’ he said.