By Precious Oluwole
Local Government workers, primary school teachers, both serving and retired, on Wednesday, trooped out en mass to the inauguration of Sunshine Grassroot Alliance (SUGA).
The group began the inauguration rally from Adegbemile Cultural center, Alagbaka through Oba Adesida road and was terminated at Akure town hall where the members were addressed.
According to Dr Deji Akinwalere, the essence of the forum is to embark on a political education to sensitize local government workers and primary school teachers on the need for them to participate in politics, get registered and to seek for positions.
“Politics at the local level is very peculiar, generally, a lot of professional have their characteristics, texture, content and nature. What we observe at the grassroots is that those that do not have the knowledge, skill or the experience to function in offices are the people that are imposed on the grassroots people at the government level”.
“We are telling our people who have been local government workers, who are teachers who have served in different categories, that it’s about time for them to get interested in politics and by doing this, we will be able to bring our different skills to bear in politics”.
Akinwalere opined that the sensitization would be a continuous process, so that politics is not used to punish people at the grassroots.
Comrade Bola Taiwo, the State President of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ondo State Chapter revealed that the birth of SUGA is very important because those in the grassroots will determine what happens at the level.
“We have decided to come together to “fight” for our right because our destiny lies in our hands. We believe that if we come together, we can develop ourselves”
The President, however, charged the members on unity, avoid enviousness and think about the generality of staff for progress to be achieved.
Dr Bunmi Eniayewu, a retired Permanent Secretary as well as former State President of NULGE revealed that it is time for the local government workers and primary school teachers to present themselves for political offices as they have been voting for people.
“We have qualified people among us, they should come out and participate in politics. Even as civil servants, there are procedures for anyone who wants contest for political position. We are all one under SUGA, and are not against the government”. However, he maintained that the group is not attached to any political party, but purely a socio – political group in the state.
Dr Olowogboyega Oyebade, former NULGE President, Osun State who also spoke at the inauguration stated that the more united the workers are, the better for their welfare.
“Our people from all works of life in Ondo State must come together to support the government of the day and transform the State and must popularise all policies of the government”.
Comrade Gabriel Akinsanya, the National Vice President of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) stated that local government workers and primary school teachers can also hold positions, therefore, they should also be recognized.
“Though, we are not politically oriented, but we want the government to know that we are one of them. We have decided to end the Culture of Silence.
The members of SUGA while pledging their support for the forum appreciated the coordinators for coming up with the birth of SUGA.
The group’s spokesperson, Comrade Victor Omodara informed that registration of members across the eighteen local governments will commence immediately and urged them to be actively involved.