By: SULAIMAN, Abdulwaheed Olamilekan

It is no longer news that the corona virus pandemic has hit the world to the brim which is evident in the cases recorded so far and the sudden second spark.

Dissecting the upsurge in  cases recorded by the Technical Committee on COVID-19 at the second wave of the ravaging virus in Kwara state. It is noteworthy that defiant (informed and uninformed persons) has turned out to purposely flout the safety precautionary measures put in place by the NDDC and the gazette (executive order) at the behest of the Kwara State Government under the leadership of Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

It is however appalling that the gazette which is supposed to be strictly adhered to has been religiously contravened by the carefree populace culminating in the astronomical spike of the novel plague which may resultantly put the state on the precipice.

On the 24th of December, the state COVID-19-19 Technical Committee rolled out through a press release, the safety guidelines put in place to curb the further spread of the virus in the state which includes; use of facemask, restriction on movements between 12:00am to 4:30am, regular wash of hands, placing ban on gathering of not more than fifty (formal and informal) and also warned against violation of the guidelines as they would be made to strict penalties as enshrined in the provisions of the Kwara State Infectious Diseases Regulations 2020.

Commendable as it was, It is worrisome to see notable personalities flouting such order thereby constituting hazard to the lives of others which may eventually escalate the virus.

Barely a week after publishing guidelines to curb the spread of the second wave of the virus, an online newspaper released short video clips of Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at different public functions confidently violating the health protocols his government issued.

This bossy behavior tells the tales of how the high and low in the state have continually disregarded the safety measures.

Should the big stick be weighed against the executor of the law himself? No doubt, Executive immunity wouldn’t pave the way for such to come to fruition. But “he who comes with equity must come with clean hands”.

Hitherto, pestiferous war of words has permeated the media space on the ordeal of the  long-suffering 2,414 SUBEB teachers codenamed “sunset” workers who were lawfully employed at the twilight of the immediate past administration and have been denied payments for several months owing to their questionable manner of employment which eventually led to their disengagement.

Consequently, the Governor is reneging on his earlier promise not to disengage these innocent workers upon his assumption of office, pointing the accused finger to his predecessor for inflating the numbers of the approved figure to be recruited from 1,100 to 2,414 workers.

A statement made by the Kwara State Government on December 24, 2020 through the Ministry of Education partly read: “A total number of 2,414 SUBEB teachers were engaged in the twilight of the past administration. They are otherwise called sunset workers.”

“This figure is a violent contravention of the executive approval by former Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed who had authorised the employment of 1,100 qualified teachers to take English Language, Mathematics, and Science subjects only.”

Meanwhile, the governor in a release on July 3, 2020 noted that the “sunset” workers were purposely employed to frustrate his administration but will confidently embrace them with an open arm by ensuring that they are retained and get paid promptly like other workers.

His statement: “The sunset workers were people employed by the last administration in the twilight of their reign. Many people said they had been engaged to frustrate the success of our administration. Whatever the case, we refuse to punish these new workers by sacking them; rather we will retain them and ensure they too like other workers get paid promptly.”

Consequently, Gov. AbdulRazaq ate his words which, thereafter, provoked public backlash after which their outstanding salaries were allegedly paid on compassionate grounds.
Their travails are compounded by claims that some of the teachers were overpaid as others got underpaid.

It is a healthy censure to advance that the Kwara State Government lacks clarity in her programme because any forward thinking Administration needs to be guided by appropriate ideology. No doubt, decision making is key to good leadership. It evidently appear Mr. Governor’s decision not to lay them off was a political statement to appeal to public sentiment but when reality set in, he recounted. Unarguably, It takes political will to stand by the right decision.

I believe they say it takes two to tangle, it is advisable for the Kwara State Government to give  optimal priority to the disengaged workers at the fast approaching recruitment exercise slated to take off in January.

May Kwara be great again!

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect THE INFORMANT247’s editorial stance.

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