Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

Osun State Finances and Non-Payment of Salaries:

Osun State Finances and Non-Payment of Salaries:

DSM Welcomes Justice Oloyede’s Call for a probe of the Aregbesola Government

Only mass movement of workers, youths and the oppressed can compel House of Assembly to act

The attention of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), Osun State Chapter has been drawn to a petition, widely reported in the newspapers, written by a serving judge in Osun State, Justice Folahanmi Oloyede, requesting the House of Assembly to immediately initiate impeachment proceeding against the Governor over non-payment of workers’ salaries and retirees’ pensions for more than eight (8) months, and financial mismanagement in the state.

We in the DSM salute the courage of the judge, and welcome her support decision to lend her voice in support of the immediate alleviation of the preventable plight of workers and pensioners in Osun State. We do not buy the bogey of some people that, as a judge, she does not have democratic right to air her view about issues that affect her family, relations and the state at large, even if she has knowledge of misdeed by government officials. We believe she has every democratic right to air her views on going-on in the society.

The allegations raised by the said judge Oloyede are not new but open secret in the state. In fact, we in the DSM Osun State, have been raising, for almost three years, gross financial mismanagement and misappropriation in Osun State. We in the DSM have always stood in the interests of workers and pensioners. On several occasions, we have had cause to issue public statements and give support to workers and pensioners during struggles over non-payment of salaries and pension. All our positions and arguments have been borne out and corroborated by subsequent events including the latest financial insolvency in Osun State. Is it wasting of N15 billion on so-called “Opon Imo” project that has made Osun to come 22nd in WAEC failure rate in 2014, or handing over N1 billion of public fund to private garment factory, under the guise of free (later costly) school uniforms? Should we talk about the humongous contract budgets which saw government spending billions of naira to construct ten schools while over two thousand others are in dilapidated conditions? What about hundreds of millions of naira monthly security vote; or billions paid to political appointees as salaries and emoluments? Should we forget several millions of naira deducted from workers’ salaries and retirees’ pensions which were not remitted to appropriate quarters? The petition of the judge is a further confirmation of our position.

We fully support that all democratic processes to put government officials on trial on how they use and misuse public resources of the state. However, we warn that to expect the current House of Assembly, populated mostly by APC members, who pledge allegiance to the current government is like living in illusion. The current House of Assembly is a rubberstamp of the Aregbesola government. In fact, the House of Assembly, through its humongous salaries and emoluments are contributors to the current financial mess of Osun State.

Only a mass movement of working people, youth, students and the oppressed in Osun State can compel the House of Assembly and the ruling party to sacrifice their own. It was the public outcry and protests in the state that compelled the Aregbesola government to agree to pay, a promise he has not fulfilled. We commend the pensioners and doctors in the state for organizing mass protests against Aregbesola government’s refusal to pay pensions and salaries. However, we call on central labour leadership (NLC and TUC) in Osun State to go beyond its sit-at-home strike approach, and mobilise workers for peaceful mass actions.

We in the DSM demand the immediate payment of all salaries, allowances, pensions and gratuities of workers and pensioners in Osun State. We also reiterate our demand for democratic public probe of the Aregbesola government.

We find it highly immoral and unacceptable for governors and politicians in the main capitalist ruling parties (APC and PDP) across the country who claim not to have money to pay workers to be living ostentatiously on the resources of the country while workers, pensioners and their dependents continue to suffer. This further underscores the position of the DSM that workers and poor people need to build their own political party to promote and defend their collective interests.

Alfred Adegoke
State Coordinator
Kola Ibrahim
State Secretary