Some youths under the All Progressive Congress (APC) across the 11 wards of Irepodun Local Government Area in Kwara on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest over the recent appointment of a cashier for the council.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the youths, accompanied by some APC Ward Chairmen and party leaders in the area, stormed the council secretariat in Omu-Aran as early as 9am to register their grievances.
NAN gathered that the council management had last Friday handed a letter of appointment to Mr Yemi Ayandiran who hails from Esie-Ijan ward of the council as Cashier 1.
Mr Bayo Salahu from Omu-Aran Ward and the erstwhile Acting Cashier 1 was given the position of Cashier 2.
The youths carrying placards with different inscriptions, however, rejected the appointment of Ayandiran as Cashier 1 in place of Salahu who was said to be the party’s preferred candidate.
Some of those who spoke with NAN described the appointment as against the interest of the party and an act of imposition, favoritism and nepotism which would not stand.
Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “No to imposition, nepotism”,” We don’t want Yemi as Cashier 1, Ayandiran is not the party’s choice, candidate” among others.
Mr Lanre Olaoye, the APC Chairman in Omu-Aran Ward 3 and Secretary of APC Chairmen Forum in Irepodun Local Government Area of the state, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, said Ayandiran was never the party’s candidate for the disputed position.
He accused Ayandiran of working against the party’s interest in the last general elections, saying “Ayandiran cannot benefit from the same party he worked against during elections.”
Olaoye said, although the issue was already being addressed by the party’s high hierarchy in the area, but
posited that the peaceful protest was to intimate the council management on the youths’ position over the appointment.
“We are here to show our displeasure and grievances over the recent appointment of Mr Yemi Ayandiran as the new Cashier 1 for the council.
“We, the APC youths and party leaders across the 11 wards of the council, view this appointment as an act of imposition by a leader against popular demands of the people of the council.
“While loyalists from other parties have benefitted from appointments into the same position in the past, it is therefore the turn of APC as the ruling party in the council to ensure its loyalist is equally favoured in the same appointment
“In as much as there are other qualified staff in the treasury department aside Mr Ayandiran who can be appointed to man the position, we hereby reject in totality Mr Ayandiran’s appointment.
Olaoye said the party youths in the council would not condone any form of imposition or favouritism from any leader no matter how highly placed.
Responding, Mr Ahmed Babatunde, the council’s Director of Personnel Management (DPM) thanked the party members for their peaceful conduct during the protest.
He said the recent appointment of cashiers in the council was not the exclusive preserve of the management but sequel to a letter and directive from the Local Government Service Commission dated Jan. 29.
Babatunde advised the party members to also visit the office of the Local Government Service Commission in Ilorin to register their grievances and seek for redress.
He promised to put up a report on the development for onward transmission to appropriate quarters for necessary action.
Mr Femi Oladipo, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in the council, said the union would work with the management to address the issue.
He urged the protesters to embrace dialogue in ensuring amicable settlement of the dispute.