While Governor Dapo Abiodun was quick to redeem the N5 million and a three-bedroom bungalow pledge to Laycon, the winner of #BBNaija Lockdown Edition, he failed to fulfill promises he made to outstanding teachers in Ogun State one year after, PREMIUM TIMES can report.
At a ceremony in October last year, Mr Abiodun announced the donations to Laycon, whose real name is Olamilekan Agbeleshe. The governor followed up the gifts with the announcement that the #BBNaija star has been appointed the youth ambassador of the state.
By 5 October , it will be one year since Mr Abiodun made a similar promise to outstanding teachers at the 2020 celebration of Teachers’ Day.
While the governor awarded a two-bedroom bungalow to the overall outstanding teacher, Odegbola Ayodele, a Junior Secondary School (JSS) teacher in Abeokuta Grammar School (ABEOGRAM); N2.5 million was awarded to Adewale Abayomi from Odua Comprehensive High School, Imoru, Ijebu-Ode, for being the best teacher in the Senior Secondary School (SSS) category.
Also, N2 million was said to have been awarded to Mary Adeyemi from St. Paul’s School II, Sagamu, as the best primary school teacher in the state.
None of the teachers has received their prizes from the Ogun State government.
The governor’s decision to donate gifts to Laycon was immediately met with a backlash from the public who criticised him for the move while owing pensioners and refusing to implement the national minimum wage.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on Youths and Sports, Lamide Lawal, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the governor had redeemed the pledges made to Laycon.
“What Laycon was promised has been done,” said Mr Lawal, who described the government as a “talk and do” one.
He added that the government maintained a cordial relationship with the #BBnaija winner because “he remains the government’s Youths Ambassador.”
“So far so good, we are cool with Laycon. We have no problem with Laycon, he is our Youths Ambassador. What he was promised has actually been done. So, we are very very cool with him. As regards the house, they have been called for inspection.
“Like I was saying, the current administration led by Governor Dapo Abiodun MFR is a ‘talk and do’ government that always redeems every promise it made.
“Just about two weeks ago, the winner of the global mathematics contest, that best graduating LASU [student], among others, all got their prices. The thing is that there is a difference between pronouncement and redemption, our government is a promise keeper.”
PREMIUM TIMES could not yet verify the claim that the winner of the global mathematics contest and the best graduating student of the Lagos State University had received their prizes.
It is unclear why the government is yet to redeem its promises to the teachers.
Waheed Odusile, the commissioner for information and strategy, said the prizes would “soon” be presented to the teachers.
“Very soon… The prizes will be given to the awardees. Thanks for your interest,” Mr Odusile told Dubawa, PREMIUM TIMES’ fact-checking arm.
Samson Oyelere, the secretary of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Ogun State chapter, while confirming that the governor is yet to redeem his pledge, said they have written to him over the delay.
“We were also privy to the information that the state government has not redeemed the promises,” Mr Oyelere said.
“So, we swung into action by contacting the teachers that were involved and the state government. This was also formalised by writing a clarion call letter to His Excellency to redeem a worthy promise he pronounced during 2020 World Teachers Day to the best three teachers in the state as another World Teachers’ Day is around the corner.”
Mr Oyelere said they remain hopeful that the government would redeem its pledge to the teachers.
“We were also contacted, though unofficially. The union was appreciated for the steps taken as the issue was actually a case of oversight on their part. We were assured that the issue at hand would surely be taken care of on or before this year’s World Teachers’ Day.
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“I must not also fail to add that after the reminder letter written to the state government, the link assured us that administrative bureaucracy might actually delay the fulfilment of those promises after due consultation for some time.
“So, that is the position of the Nigeria Union of Teachers since we cannot but trust the state government on this free will promises to Nigerian teachers.”
The teachers’ union leader, however, promised members that the 2021 edition of the celebration will not be a repeat of the “2020 kind of promise.”
“Let me also stress the confidence of the Union that this year (2021) will not be like that of 2020 as redemption of prizes will be done on time as against that of 2020.”