The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has faulted the sacking and subsequent demotion of Ekiti State chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Raphael Olaiya, by Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The group, in a statement by its Deputy National Chairperson (South-West), Bamigboye Abiodun, also charged the leadership of labour unions and civil society organisations to rise up and “fight for the recall of Olaiya and respect of democratic rights of workers side by side with the struggle against all anti-poor policies in the state.”
As stated by SPN, the sacked labour chief was asked “to proceed on immediate and compulsory retirement from the state civil service while at the same time demoted from Grade Level 12 as principal legal officer to Grade Level 10”.
The party, in the statement, stated that the allegation levelled against Olaiya was that “he is actively involved in partisan politics and that he also granted an interview on both print and electronic media sometime in October 2015 where he allegedly warned the state government against a possible diversion of bailout fund received from the FGN by state governments around that period to offset salary arrears in their respective states.”
It continued: “Going by this background, it is obvious that the sack and demotion of Mr. Olaiya is a clear case of victimisation. As a matter of fact, Mr. Olaiya as a civil servant has not committed any offence for being actively involved in partisan politics, even if it is true.
“The right for a civil servant to form or be a registered member of a political party of his/her choice has been established in Supreme Court judgment in the case of INEC vs Musa and others (2003).”