Group slams Osun lawmakers for dismissing judge’s petition

A socio-political group, Democratic Socialist Movement, has condemned the decision by the Osun State House of Assembly to throw out a petition demanding the probe and impeachment of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

It will be recalled that the controversial petition had been submitted by a judge in the Osun State judiciary, Justice Folahanmi Oloyede.

In a statement by its secretary, Kola Ibrahim, the group said the state House of Assembly was “merely a rubber stamp of
the Aregbesola government being used to provide legislative cover for all its anti-worker policies and misuse of public funds.”

The group described the lawmakers’ decision as “clearly biased and undemocratic.”

It, therefore, called for a probe committee comprising representatives of workers’ unions, students and professional groups, to probe the administration of the Rauf Aregbesola-led Osun State government.

The group also demanded the full and immediate payment of all outstanding salaries of workers and pension arrears of all retirees.

The group condemned the idea of paying half salaries to workers, saying it was callous and illegal.

It called on the leadership of the labour unions in the state to be alive to its responsibilities.

It said rather than hold meetings in the Government House, the labour leaders should call a congress of workers and pensioners in the state, so that workers can take collective decision in defence of their welfare and rights.

The statement read in part, “The excuse of the House that the petition lacks merit is simply ridiculous.How did the members of the House come to this conclusion when no single public hearing was entertained on the petition? More than once, the governor publicly announced that the state is broke and he did not know the way out of the morass he put the state into.

“For up to seven months, workers’ salaries could not be paid while the majority of pensioners are still owed pension arrears for more than a year.

“Public institutions such as schools and hospitals are in their worst state while most of the projects the government claimed to have committed state resources to, are either uncompleted or abandoned.”

“With this kind of situation, a responsible and responsive parliament would have immediately swung into action and probed the finances of the state, including holding a public hearing on the issue.

“On the contrary, the House of Assembly, not only kept a criminal silence, but even justified the putrid conditions of the state. The Speaker of the House while justifying the Aregbesola government’s financial atrocities, was quoted to have said the state could not have developed without debt. Yet, he refused to explain why most of the projects for which the debts were incurred are abandoned.”