By Ogunwoye Samson Gbemiga
The situation in the country is truly disturbing, and that has made frustration a national phenomenon. Resisting increments in commodities and services even where there are not enough provisions to cushion the effects is highly justified in a democratic society. The displeasure with the Federal government’s policies is understandable as it is lucidly and visibly expressed in the faces of the masses.
Oyo State workers and the general citizens of the state are not exempt from this trying situation as expenses are above the income. But whenever there are frustrations, allowing dialogue is the most suitable technique to reach a peaceful consensus.
For the past few days, Oyo State workers have expressed their displeasure with the overall challenges in this country, most especially the removal of fuel subsidies and the harmonisation of forex, which have had trickle effects on every aspect of national life and placed the masses at the receiving end.
Coming out to protest against these issues is highly justified and understandable, but looking at the personality and commitment of His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, there should be consideration in the State to enable peaceful coexistence and progress.
Since his emergence as Governor of Oyo State, the State Government under GSM has shown total commitment to the plight of workers. Payment of salaries to the workers on the 25th of every month is a carefully thought-out policy to ameliorate the pains of the commoners.
Unlike his predecessor, the payment of pensions was revived and constantly maintained by the State. Makinde implemented free education at the elementary and secondary levels to also reduce the level of expenses for ordinary citizens of the State.
While other states are facing serious challenges with salary payments, the Makinde-led administration promoted over 2,000 civil servants, and almost 1,000 others have been converted to regular service.
Oyo State also implemented the N30,000 minimum wage at the earliest stage of Makinde’s administration. All these are indications that Makinde is a friend and lover of the masses, and he would always be ready to listen to them as the father of the State.
It is charitable to note that most of the policies that are creating this hullabaloo are under the exclusive power of the Federal Government. Makinde doesn’t have power over subsidies, nor does he have influence to control the forex; rather, he has been working frantically with the FG and other stakeholders to see that necessary palliatives are provided for the citizens to truly breathe.
To create a lasting solution for this discrepancy, Makinde’s henchmen, most especially the Honourable Commissioner for information, Prince Dotun Oyelade, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Sulaiman Olanrewaju, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Labor Matters, Comrade Sodo, have been up and doing so see that the plight of the workers is duly attended to.
Before war-war, there is a need for jaw-jaw. Seyi Makinde has shown that he is ready and open for dialogue to rub minds and create common ground. Frustrations with the FG policies should not be transferred to the State government; rather, the citizens of Oyo State should work together with His Excellency to make sure that they get their entitlements from the federal government.
While the workers have the right to civil disobedience, they should be considerate of Makinde, who has overtly and outrightly in words and actions that the welfare of the masses of the state is his top priority.
Ogunwoye Gbemiga Samson
Surulere Local Government