As the political campaigns for the governorship election in Ondo State are expected to increase in the coming weeks, the governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has warned civil servants to stay out of the fray.
He said they should stay out of partisan politics during the electioneering activities.
The governor specifically said he was against civil servants wearing campaign T-shirts adorning the logo of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Hitherto, civil servants often attend campaign rallies of incumbent governors, wearing branded t-shirts.
Mr Akeredolu spoke at special prayer session to mark the first working day in the new year held at the governor’s office, Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital.
He asked the workers to allow politicians to play politics, while they should concentrate on their efforts to help government execute its policies for the people.
He expressed gratitude to God for preserving his life, saying he had more services to render to the good people of Ondo State.
“I don’t want any civil servant to wear endorsement T shirt for me. Civil servants should not be involved in politics,” he said.
“I don’t want workers to do like they did before I came on board. They should focus on their jobs and let politicians play politics.
“We are all political animals, but workers should stay away from politics. And if they want to do, it should be done moderately.”
Mr Akeredolu at the event disclosed his readiness to serve more if permitted by God.
He declared that his administration was ready to pay the N30,000 minimum wage as soon as the ongoing negotiation between the labour unions and the state government was concluded.
He claimed that the state is among the very few states already discussing the implementation of the new minimum wage.
”The organised labour and government have been having discussions and negotiations and we are fine-tuning our conclusions to ensure that we come up with the most acceptable and sustainable salary structure considering the financial strength of the State,” he said.
“I wish to assure you that payment of the new wage would commence as soon as on-going discussion and negotiation are concluded.“
The governor said within a space of about three years, his administration had embarked on massive infrastructural development across the three senatorial districts of the state.
He said his administration had also made “unprecedented’ improvement in revenue generation and laying a solid foundation for the sustainable economic turn-around of the state.
Premium Times reports that Mr Akeredolu noted that the state government under his leadership had increased empowerment schemes for women, men and young entrepreneurs by providing trade support loans.
“In doing all of these and more, we have kept faith with the demands of workers’ welfare,” he said.
“In spite of our dire financial challenges, we have been able to fulfil our promises of regular payment of workers’ salaries and other obligations to the people of the state.
“I always hold the firm belief that regular salary payment and promotion of deserving public servants are not achievement but purely obligatory.
“You can bear testimony that we have almost concluded the payment of inherited salary arrears.”
He also thanked civil servants and political office holders for their cooperation and understanding in moving the state forward.
Speaking earlier in his exaltation, the Catholic Bishop of Ondo, Jude Arogundade, called on the governor to rally the people of the state for wealth generation and creation in the state.
He said the state had no business relying on federal allocation alone for its survival.