From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
A group of youths in Owo, headquarters of Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, Owo Integrity Forum has called on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to intervene on the current impass between the state government and striking workers of the state government-owned Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo which resulted in strike.
The group appealed to Governor Akeredolu to ensure that the accumulated arrears of salary owed workers of the institution is paid.
Also, the group called on the Governor to approve special bailout for the institution to defray the 10 months salary arrears.
The non academic staff of the polytechnic had last week commenced an indefinite strike to press home their demand for payment of their accumulated salaries.
In a statement signed by the National Coordinator of the group, Mr Emmanuel Ayodele, the group explained that such salary bailout would ensure stability at the institution and give students and workers conducive environment to teaching and learning.
The Statement reads “We appeal to our amiable Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu to urgently wade into the strike issue over unpaid salaries of 10 months at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo.
“It is our belief that the Governor should without further delay approve special fund like salary bailout for the institution. We know the situation is not peculiar to RUGIPO alone. We know the Ondo state government, the Governing Council and the management of the school are trying their best to meet workers’ demands, but it is only necessary at this time for the state government to grant bailout for salary payment.
“The workers can not be going to work on daily basis in empty stomach and they also need to feed their families, but we want to appeal to them to give the state government time to address the salary arrears that pre-dated the present administration.
“We want to commend the courage of the workers in showing understanding for the period of time but we wish to urge them to further exercise patience to enable the state Governor and the management to come up with strategies of defraying the salary arrears.
“We are all aware of the giant strides in putting in place modern infrastructure on the campus of the polytechnic in recent years to change the narrative of shortage of facilities. We therefore commend the Governing Council under the leadership of Mr Banji Alabi and the management under the Rector, Gani Ogundahunsi.
The group also called on the striking workers not to allow some distractors to use them to distabilise existing stable academic calendar being enjoyed at the polytechnic in recent time
”we are aware that the institution’s management took some drastic economic steps to turn around some moribund facilities owned by the institution.
“The adoption of public private partnership by the management and supervised by Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) Committee has saved a number of dilapidated facilities on the campus”.
Reacting, the Public Relations Officer, Pastor Samuel Ojo said “the Governing Council and Management of the institution has done so much to bring the institution to limelight with lots of infrastructural and human capital development
“The only pain is on the salary arrears which the authorities of the institution are addressing with all sincere efforts,” he added.