Kamarudeen Ogundele , Ado Ekiti
Workers at College of Education, Ikere – Ekiti have pledged support for the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Dr . Kayode Fayemi , ahead of the July 14 election .
They lamented that they were owed seven months salaries by the Governor Ayodele Fayose- led administration .
They also complained that the institution had not received grants for capital projects for over three years of Fayose’s regime .
The college staff spoke when their union leaders met with Fayemi and presented a list of demands to him on Friday.
Those at the meeting were College of Education Academic Staff Union, Non – Academic Staff Union and Senior Staff of College of Education .
They praised Fayemi for giving them good welfare during his first term by increasing their salaries twice, repealing the law that abrogated the college and payment of 22 months arrears of N 900m owed by the previous administration .
The staff also demanded the elevation of the college to a university status because of the dwindling number of students seeking admission.
COEASU Branch Chairman, Dayo Olokesusi , advised Fayemi to make immediate payment of seven months outstanding salary arrears a priority , saying the last salary collected was for that of November 2017.
He said , “ The last salary we received was that of November 2017. We embarked on several strikes , no result .
“ We attend to students in hunger when somebody says continuity of hunger and lack. That is why we are pleading that it should be one of the first priority .
“ We have made up our minds to work for you , to collaborate with you because of the way the state is being run. We are going to give you maximum support.”
Responding, Fayemi promised to work out a moratorium of six months to offset all salary arrears owed workers and that he would increase the subvention if elected.
Fayemi denied a rumour that he was on a vengeance mission to the government house .
Fayemi said, “ Revenge for what ? How many people did I sack when I was governor ? The people spreading this rumour are doing worse than sacking workers .
“ I recruited more teachers and workers , I did not only pay salaries regularly but I also increased salaries of civil servants, teachers and local government workers three times and increased college salary twice.
“ I am in politics to better the lives of people, I am not in politics to punish people. We are educated, we should not dignify such rumours .
“ During my government, Ekiti had 98 per cent enrolment figure of school children but today, Ekiti has the lowest enrolment in the Southwest .
“ Pupils are not able to pay the tax imposed on them by the current government , kindergarten and nursery pupils dropping out of school
“ It is the pain I see in the eyes of our people anytime I drive around that motivated me to seek this office again. The current government has caused more pain for our people.”