The national leadership of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees ( NULGE) has ordered all its members in Oyo State to stay away from their duty posts pending when the vexed issues on local government administration in the state are resolved .
Citing security reasons for its decision, NULGE said the no- work order to its members across the state was in view of the friction between the sacked members of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria ( ALGON) and the newly constituted local government caretaker committee members in the state.
Some embattled elected ALGON members in the state forcefully resumed duty at their former offices few months ago in protest against move by Governor Seyi Makinde to inaugurate caretaker committees for their replacement in the councils.
Following an emergency meeting in Ibadan on Saturday, the state executive council of NULGE directed its members to stay away from work pending when the emerging feud would be resolved.
The state Chairman of NULGE, Alhaji Bayo Titilola-Sodo, said the decision, taken by the highest policy making body of the union, was biding on all council workers and the resumption date would be determined later.
Titilola-Sodo said: “Our members are in fear of possible outbreak of violence. We have been following the news in the social media and the newspapers and sometimes letters were published. We don’t know the authenticity, but we have reasons to be apprehensive of the safety of our members. Should they go to work and these people take on each other, what happens?
“A few months ago, when one party decided to go to office relying on one authority or the other while the other party is still occupying the office, there were altercations.
“Today, we held a meeting that in order to safeguard the lives of our people, our members should stay away from offices until the weather is clearer, until we know who exactly we are working with and until our safety is guaranteed.”
He said no member of NULGE should go to work by Monday morning until further notice and the situation is resolved.
“Until our own security and safety are guaranteed, we shall stay away. We had the State Administrative Council meeting followed by the State Executive Council meeting. The decision was taken by the SEC, which is the highest decision making authority of our union in this state.
“We reviewed the situation on ground and found out that it is in our best interest and in the interest of our members to stay away from work before they turned our offices into battle grounds,” he said.
Asked of the likely punishment to be meted to defaulters, he said, there would be no defaulter in this case. “You can go to work at your own risk; you have been warned; you have been advised to stay away. No-one would be enforcing this, but we believe that our members would comply,” he stated.