Members of the Ondo State Artisan Group (OSAG) today stormed the premises of the State Micro Credit Agency( OSMA) to protest allege marginalization of its members in the disbursement of Federal Government’s COVID 19 Survival Funds.
The State President General of OSAG, Comrade Daisi Komolafe in a chat with media men said the peaceful protest by its members was to register their displeasure over the processes adopted by OSMA in enumerating artisans in the state.
According to him, 6 bodies which include NATA, Carpenters & Furniture Union, Hairdresser Association, OSATU, Tailors Association of Nigeria and OSAG make up the Artisan Group and that for the first time that artisans are being recognized by the federal government to be beneficiaries of a relief fund, forces beyond the control of the union had hijacked the process thereby pitching the executives of the union against its members.
“OSAG as a body has about 97 unions and associations and when this process started, OSMA said it was gong to deal with union that are duly registered with CAC and the State Government and as such, out of our 97 union, we had 40 registered unions with CAC and another 6 duly registered with the Stat Government.
As I speak with you, members of my union are accusing our leadership of colluding with the state government to deny them of their rights as those who have been receiving alerts are neither our members and nor tax payers”, he said.
Comrade Daisi who accused OSMA boss, Hon. Mrs. Kosemani Kolawole of not listening to artisans in the state called on the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to intervene in the matter which he says has torn the union apart.
” We demand that the list of beneficiaries be published along with their details”, he further stressed.
Also speaking, Comrade Alabi Abraham, the Vice President of OSAG said across the 18 local government areas of the state, only 20 plumbers got alert out of the 70 members enumerated
In his own submission, Comrade Oni Olaniran alleged that from their records, over 3,500 slots out of the 4,400 allotted to Ondo State artisans have been hijacked.
“From Akure North local government, I can tell you authoritatively that only 4 artisans featured on the list of eligible artisans while all the members of St. Luke’s Church have all received alert based on their connection with Mrs. Kolawole
We have it on good source that Mrs. Kolawole spent 2 days at Ilaje/ Ese Odo yet none of our members benefited from it and again she enumerated all her sewing staffs in her private outfit online to benefit from the funds”, he added saying her actions has pitched artisans who represents over 65% of voters against the state government.
In his own reaction, the State Chairman of House Painters, Comrade Badusi Dayo said it is an unfortunate situation for artisans in the state. ” We want the state government to investigate the whole process. In the entire 4 Akoko communities, a purported list from a prominent politician was enumerated. In Irele, ESE Odo and Igbokoda, another prominent politician single-handedly submitted the list for enumeration “.
Topshotnews also spoke with the Chairman, Car Alignment Association who doubles as the State Treasurer of OSAG, Comrade Sofin Adekunle who expressed worry over the development stressing that it was high time the Governor intervened.
The State Secretary of OSAG, Comrade Bamidele George Omoode while also expressing displeasure over the development urged the state government on the need to create Artisan Welfare Board saying it will go a long way in forestalling such an recurrence in the future.
In her response , Mrs. Kosemani Kolawole denied the allegation saying to the best of her knowledge, everything was done in good faith and that their agitations will be looked into.