You are here: HomeNews2023 03 29Article 641561

General News of Wednesday, 29 March 2023


Avoid second-term pitfalls - Workers, others tell Abiodun

Dapo Abiodun Dapo Abiodun

After winning a tough electoral battle, the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, is set for a second term. DAUD OLATUNJI writes on the expectations of the people of the state from the governor

After re-election, many governors go ‘asleep’ and they do not achieve much in their second term. Against this background, residents and professional associations, who once experienced a lull in the activities of second-term governors in Ogun State, have therefore advised Governor Dapo Abiodun to avoid the pitfalls of his predecessors.

As the governor basked in the euphoria of his victory, stakeholders made a series of requests in separate interviews, with The PUNCH.

On March 19, the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Abiodun, who ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, the winner of the governorship election in the state after polling 276,298 votes.

Abiodun emerged as the governor-elect after defeating the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Oladipupo Adebutu, who polled 262,383 votes.

Abiodun, while basking in the euphoria of the victory, and in his acceptance speech, said that his re-election had proved that power belongs to God and that it was a vote of confidence in his administration. He thanked people in the state for re-electing him.

Appreciating the people for voting for him, Abiodun promised to ensure the completion of several ongoing projects and not to develop any part of the state at the expense of others.

Barely 48- hours after he was declared the governor-elect, the state residents, labour unions, and others began to table their requests before the governor as he sets to commence his second term journey.

The immediate past Students’ Union President of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ajani Sodiq, called on the governor to pay close attention to the education sector in the state.

He lamented how lecturers make students pay for their unpaid salaries.

He said, “We need Governor Dapo Abiodun to pay close attention to the educational sector. For instance, lecturers at institutions make students victims of their unpaid salaries. They put students in tight conditions to reduce the hardships of their unpaid remuneration. Other factors to look out for are the school’s infrastructure and consistent supervision.”

Speaking on the expectations of the workers in the state from the governor in his second term, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Hamid Ademola asked Abiodun to treat the workers very well.

Ademola, who was just elected the chairman of the union, said, “The first assignment I will sincerely appeal his Excellency to approach is to call a meeting of organised labour to reappraise the July 2022 memorandum of action.”

Also, the state’s Trade Union Congress Chairman, Akeem Lasisi said Abiodun must give the labour issues a priority.

Lasisi, who is a former Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools in the state, advised the governor to avoid any clash with the labour unions.

He said, “I think the government should please give labour matters the priority and make them appear on the front burner as he is trying to embark on his second term now because those matters are capable of causing issues and situations.

“You could remember that we signed a Memorandum of Action in July last year. The government should look into this memorandum of Action and fulfil the promise it made such as the issue of payment of gratuities.

“The statement is very clear, if you look at the MOA, it deals with the payment of outstanding, eight-year leave allowance, deductions and gratuities. Government should increase the allocation for the payment of gratuities.”

On his part, the state chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Kunle Ashimi, appealed to the governor to tackle problems in healthcare during his second term.

He said, “In the face of japa (workers migration) syndrome, the government should give incentives for health workers, make the work environment conducive and provide good accommodation for workers in remote places.

“There should be regular in-house training and payment of the necessary peculiar allowances for health workers. Old equipment should be replaced and a maintenance culture should be entrenched.

“Current facilities should be upgraded and new ones built where the people are underserved. There has been a population increase and new areas opening up over the years. There should be a regular audit of the performance of each facility and its staff to be able to make adjustments as required in time.

“Government should incorporate private healthcare practitioners into the healthcare plan with assigned roles and targets. It should also encourage public-private sector partnerships with existing practitioners in the state. It should ensure effective procurement process for drugs, laboratory reagents and hospital consumables for efficient service delivery.”

A trader who deals in soft drinks, Mrs Bukunmi Oladele, urged the governor to invest more in agriculture.

She said, “People often complain about the high prices of goods in the market. They say that traders are extorting them, but they fail to realise that the root cause lies in how much we purchase the products from farmers.

“If the governor prioritises investment in agriculture and provides support or loans to farmers, it will bring down the prices of goods in the market. Therefore, I appeal to the governor to intervene in the agricultural sector, so that everything can be normalised.”

Olamilekan Taiwo, a resident of the state, explained that all he wanted from the governor was to empower and employ the youth stating that the infrastructural and educational projects need a lot of amendment.

He said, “I just want him to do more on infrastructural and educational projects in the state. He needs to balance the equation, in the senatorial district of the state by engaging products around the three. Also, youths need to be empowered and employed.”