*Osun Govt House cleaners Sacked, Alleged of Being APC Loyalist*

*Osun Govt House cleaners Sacked, Alleged of Being APC Loyalist*

According to Sadiat Balogun, one of the casual workers engaged as cleaner for years back but recently laid off by the new consultant that took over the cleaning of the Osun State Government House, Osogbo, after the emergence of Governor Ademola Adeleke, has disclosed that they were asked to go on the allegation of being members of the All Progressives Congress.

While reacting to questions during interview on Friday, Balogun said she and other 14 affected cleaners had served at the Osun Government House, Oke Fia, Osogbo for 18 years, having been employed by the administration of ex-Governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, in 2006 on the stipend of N20,000 monthly.

Balogun disclosed further that after Adeleke became the governor, they were left alone to continue their work and they got paid regularly, until last year June when they were not paid.

The victim added that when the issue of delayed payment arose, the affected cleaners were told that a new consultant, who hails from Ekiti State, had taken over the contract of cleaning the Government House.

It was also learnt that, the cleaners were told that they would have to forego the two months’ salary arrears to protect their job or they would be laid off by the new consultant, the condition they accepted.

“We were employed 18 years ago during the administration of ex-governor Oyinlola. We are cleaners working in Osun Government House in Oke Fia, Osogbo. After Oyinlola left, we served the administration of Aregbesola and Oyetola”.

“We are more than 15, but the issue affected 15 of us and it started when this new contractor was employed to work in Government House and took over the cleaning job. The woman is from Ekiti. We were owed June and July salary last year and the condition she gave us was that we would forego the two months’ salary owed us if we wanted to continue with the job”.

“Right from the time she took over the job, she didn’t hide her plans to have us replaced. After a while, she told us the governor had directed her to dismiss us because we were APC members. We all pleaded with her and denied being members of any party”.

“We even told her we were employed by a PDP administration, but she insisted that we must be laid off. We told Alhaji Muniru Raji (Special Adviser, Political Affairs to the governor) and later, the SSG, Alhaji Teslim Igbalaye. The SSG called us and the consultant to a meeting and it was at the meeting we discovered that the woman lied against us in a bid to push us out at all costs. We are not fighting the governor”.

“He is a pleasant person, but that Consultant, we can’t work with her again. She has laid us off, but she must pay us our two months’ outstanding salary. We should also be compensated. We worked there for 18 years. Many of those doing the job are widows. I have a sick husband who I have been tending to for the last 13 years,” Balogun said.

While reacting, in a statement obtained in Osogbo on Friday, the spokesperson for the governor, Olawale Rasheed, said the ad-hoc staff were laid off by the consultant, who hired them under the immediate past administration of former Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola.

Rasheed further said, by the time Adeleke assumed office, the workers were no longer ad-hoc staff at the Government House, but despite the termination of their contract, they remained at their duty post for three months, awaiting possible reabsorption by the new government.

“The new consultant at the Government House, Genuine and Classy Cleaning Services Limited, met the ex-workers on the ground without any contract with the state government and after a review, re-absorbed 15 out of the 35 who to date remain in the service of the state as contract staff”.

“Of the old and new contract staff engaged by the firm, none of them is from the Ede area of Osun State based on verified records in their engagement forms. The disengaged staff then demanded the payment of the salaries for the three months they waited at Government House without any contract with the government”.

“In the magnanimity of Mr Governor, he directed the Secretary to the State Government, Teslim Igbalaye, to engage the new consultant and the disengaged staff to pay the reported salary arrears”.

“The former workers however refused to relate with the consultant who in effect has the records for effecting the directive of Mr Governor”.

“The SSG, however, went ahead to effect the directive of Mr Governor for the payment of the ‘salaries’ by raising necessary requests for approval, a process that is now at the final stage. The SSG is also working on the directive of Mr. Governor that the 20 former workers not reabsorbed by the new consultant should be engaged under the Imole Youth Corps that will soon be unveiled by the government.”

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