Monday 3 May 2021

Why Workers Are Seeking Second Term For Oyetola...... By Kunle Oyatomi


Le Contrat social (The Social Contract) by the great French writer and philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), is one of the ‘’most influential books ever written’’. It advances the radical concept that governing society should not be left in the hands of those in power alone. There should be a contract that cedes the making of laws to the domain of the people since it is they who would have to obey them. That is not all. According to Rousseau, the rulers must also enter into a deal (contract) with the ruled that they would see to their welfare in exchange for the citizens’ unalloyed loyalty. If the government reneged, the people were free to annul their loyalty. But if the government kept its end of the deal, it would continue to enjoy the support of the people.

These were some of the issues that dominated the day when workers in the State of Osun marked the 2021 Labour Day at the City Stadium, Osogbo, the state capital. Through their leaders, the workers said they are asking for a second term for Oyetola in next year’s poll in the state to reciprocate his government’s welfarist policies, not only for the workers, but also for all the citizens. It was a give-and-take affair. 

Speaking during the celebration, the State Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Jacob Babatunde Adekomi, said despite the economic challenges in Osun and across the country, Oyetola’s administration has proven his commitment to workers’ welfare as dictated by the Nigerian Constitution. He told the governor and the people: ‘’ Though the economy of the world and indeed that of  the state of Osun is in a critical state, yet the father in you had given the workers in the state the new minimum wage since  November 2020 while some other states who are (more) economically solvent/buoyant than Osun have not implemented the minimum wage and some who had earlier approved are now reverting to the old minimum wage of eighteen thousand naira.’’ He then went on to recall other feats of Oyetola such as lifting the ban on promotions for workers, releasing funds for the payment of pensions and rehabilitating scores of health centres in the state among others. Comrade Adekomi concluded that these gestures had wiped ‘’away tears from the faces of the citizens of the state,’’ adding that the workers are determined to strive for a second for Oyetola to sustain what he has begun.

Another speaker was the State Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council, Comrade Bayo Adejumo, who declared: ‘’We are solidly behind (Governor Oyetola) for a second term. The decision was necessary in view of the numerous achievements of the administration in the last two and half years particularly the unquantifiable role of the administration to redefine and reinvigorate the civil service for the betterment of all categories of workers in the state.’'

Responding, the governor said his administration is ‘’unapologetically people-and-worker-centred’’, hence ‘’the uncommon commitment and dedication of government to good governance.’’ 

All the governor humbly requested from the workers and the larger populace is ‘’increased productivity and efficient service delivery, as part of efforts to generate more IGR to make the state financially sufficient.’’

It’s all back to the Social Contract postulation of Rousseau. When those the people put into power play their part of performing the basic duties of providing the citizens’ needs, they can count on them to support them at the ballot. Beyond that, they can confidently call on them, as Oyetola did, to double their efforts at increasing the wealth of society to trigger more social and economic empowerment of the state. It is a win-win game for all the parties at the end of the day.

OYATOMI is the Director of Publicity,  Research and Strategy of the APC in the state of Osun

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