Strike or Stroll

Hazard Allowance: Strike or Stroll?

Good day, elders and colleagues. Permit me to stand on existing protocols as I say the following with the utmost respect: b’a ba pẹ lori emi, eṣin k’eeṣin a maa ba ni nibẹ!

We had two years to fight for hazard allowance. We… (I shan’t say we didn’t) but obviously, our agitation got overtaken by peculiar allowance and the hazard was neutralised by same. If we had secured hazard allowance before May, we would be in the right position to argue for peculiar allowance — an increase in salary due to the fuel subsidy removal, whatever name we choose to call it if not “peculiar”.

From my floor-member position, it does not seem like our leaders are even interested in the peculiar clamour since “we are professionals” and the only ones in the Civil Service apparently. So, what are they interested in? Arrears? The facts speak to the contrary:

Shortly before the strike begun an affiliate head spoke the mind of government viz:

✓ they don’t pay arrears

✓ they don’t expect the strike

✓ they have silenced us with the “taxed” haphazard allowance they have graciously paid

✓ we should be obedient children and go back to work forever thankful to our amiable Governor.

The Governor’s word carries power. He removes and replaces by constitutional means – and otherwise. And when he said that ‘March hazard allowance had been “approved”‘, it summarily became law. Why then should we not get a retrospective payment in the name of arrears? *Does Ogun State Government not pay its debts?* Leave bonuses are not paid in arrears? Gratuities are not paid in arrears?

By next year we will be on another agitation, if we still have leaders worth the name. The handwriting is already on the wall. This is our opportunity to set things right, otherwise, the Governor will promise us in June 2024 and pay us in April 2027 — without arrears.

And to the NMA Ogun Chairman, sir:

1. It is very rare for everybody to rally about an NMA cause the way we have done for you. Even those who did not vote for you sheathed their personal objections and quieted the lone wolf howling at you on a sanctimonious technicality. I hope you stay the cause because it would be painful to realise (as we had in the past) that the ExCo in whole or in part had their secondary, clandestine, agenda for bringing the government to the negotiating table.

2. This is a strike action mandated by an NMA AGM. SEC could have declared a strike but after numerous letter-writing adventures failed they resorted to harvest congressional powers knowing that Congress is indeed supreme. This strike can only be called off, in all propriety that is, by Congress duly constituted in a general meeting.

3. Whatever we do today becomes precedent tomorrow. Those who advertised you proclaimed your strength to stay the course. Yet, strength is one thing and determination is another; now is the time for exhibition…

God bless the forbearing doctors in the Ogun State Civil Service. Amen.

Ayokunle Adeleye

Ayokunle is a doctor, a writer at heart, his opinions are strong and he wants a better society. Follow him on twitter @adelayok