A traditional chief in Ekiti State, Chief Wale Alade, has criticized Governor Ayo Fayose for allegedly maltreating members of the traditional institution in the state.
Alade, who is the Aro Afobaje of Iyin-Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area, expressed dismay that traditional chiefs earn as low as N150 per month which is not even regular.He disclosed that they are owed nine months salary arrears adding that he got his N700 salary for September 2017 five days ago.
Alade described the July 14 governorship election as an opportunity for the chiefs to reject poverty allegedly unleashed on them by poor welfare under Fayose vote. He said the chiefs are mobilising to vote against Fayose and his anointed candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola because of their plight.
Addressing a press conference in Iyin on Thursday, Alade described the alleged maltreatment of Obas and chiefs by Fayoseas “shameful and very annoying.”
He explained that the traditional institution enjoyed better treatment under the tenure of former Governor Kayode Fayemi through regular payment of salaries, release of N450,000 security allowance to each community and special health mission for Obas, chiefs and their families.
He said: “The way forward is for us to vote him out and put somebody who is responsible there. We need a governor that will respect the leadership of our communities.“We need a governor that will respect the traditional institution, the Obas, their chiefs and other community leaders.
“This is what we want our people to do; we are mobilizing ourselves and we are going to vote him and his candidate out.“It is very shameful and annoying that we have a governor who calls himself a chief, the Apesin of Ado-Ekiti, maltreating us.”
Alade added: “It is frustrating to be paying us N700 and still be owing nine months. Speaking on behalf of myself, I am embittered that as a community chief, I am earning N700.“The one I collected four days ago was September 2017 salary; N700 for the chiefs in various communities in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government, the local government of Fayose, who happens to be the current governor.
“He paid September 2017 and we are having outstanding arrears of nine months despite the annoying salaries we are collecting from the government now.“There are some of us who are collecting as little as N150 in a month, those who are in ‘Elegiri’ category. At times, they collect, N100 and at times, N110. These are facts that can be verified in our various communities.
“Even the Obas, are they paid properly? Are they given what they are supposed to have? This is the situation, we are suffering and when you see us wearing beads all around, you will think we are having money.“The whole thing is from the government and they tell us that if we are not satisfied with what they are giving to us, we should leave it.
“The senior chiefs have cried out to the governor but nothing is forthcoming at all. We collect salaries by hand, nothing to sign, no voucher, no document.”Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lanre Ogunsuyi, described the non-payment of salaries as a “big issue” that would soon be resolved.
Ogunsuyi explained that the non-payment of salaries affect all segments of workers and public servants including political office holders.
He said: “It’s a big issue. Their salaries are being paid by the local government, so any number of months that is being owed others will affect them.“The Council of Chiefs collects 5% of Local Government Allocation and their salaries are being paid from there. ‘It’s just like us: if civil servants are owed 3 months salary, so are we.
“The local government is autonomous, no one touches their money. Even our opponents haven’t said we touched the money. The governor can’t even pay the chiefs with state money.“However, we take responsibility for anything that happens in Ekiti. Local government’s debt is even enormous like that of the state.”