Some youths, drivers, artisans and market women on Thursday staged a protest in Ado Ekiti to counter Wednesday’s protest by members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees.
The NULGE had on Wednesday protested against non-implementation of the new minimum wage of N19,300 by the state government .
The protesters said they were in support of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s resolve to complete the staff headcount before implementing the new minimum wage for the local government workers.
The group, which was led by the Chairman of Market Women in Ekiti State, Mrs. Waye Oso; Chaiman of of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, Rotimi Olabiwonu; and his counterpart in the National Union of Road Transport Workers , Oso Farotimi, urged the LG workers to bear with the state government.
The protesters, who were later addressed by Fayemi, warned warned NULGE against precipitating crisis in the state.
They said the resources of the state were not exclusively for the benefits of civil servants alone but the people of the state.
Fayemi said his administration did not say it would not pay the LG workers but it asked them to be patient with it until the biometric data capture to differentiate the genuine workers from ghost workers was completed.
He said, “I can’t because of 22,000 workers at the local government level abandon about 2.5 million people in Ekiti . If you notice the programmes I am executing , you will see that I have not been sectional or political about any of them. I can’t be so wicked to the extent that I will deprive a section of workers their benefits.
“Before we started the payment of the new minimum wage at the state level, we conducted data capturing system popularly called biometric data to ascertain the number of the workforce and that we are doing at the local government areas now.
“Before we start implement the minimum wage at the local government level, we will ensure that ghost workers are separated from the genuine ones. We will do eveything to stop those taking government’s money illegally.”