Stephen Gbadamosi, Ibadan
Some labour unions in Oyo State, on Tuesday, kicked against the planned demolition of the staff quarters at the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS).
The unions are the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Radio and Television Association of Workers Union (RATTAWU).
The BCOS staff quarters, which consists of 21 flats housing junior staffers and 25 chalets housing senior workers, was constructed by the military administration of retired Brig-Gen David Jemibewon.
The leaders of the various unions had joined the BCOS chapters of their unions in protest against the planned demolition which started as early as 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
The BCOS workers, led by their union leaders, Abiodun Akinkunle of NUJ Chapel and Kola Carew of RATTAWU chapter, had mobilised their colleagues to protest the planned demolition.
The State TUC chairman, Mr Emmanuel Ogundiran; and the State NUJ chairman, Mr Ademola Babalola, had led their members into two separate meetings to ensure the state government has a rethink over the matter.
They held one of the meetings with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour Matters, Alhaji Bayo Titilola-Sodo; and the second with the BCOS management, led by its Executive Chairman, Prince Dotun Oyelade.
Ogundiran appealed to the governor and BCOS management to consider future development as well as possible expansion of the corporation.
“We are very particular about the critical staff. We wouldn’t want anything that will affect the service being rendered by the BCOS. There has to be room for expansion.
“We are also taking into cognisanze, the future development of this corporation. We have submitted our requests to the BCOS management and hope they would work on them,” he said.
Babalola expressed worry over government’s plan to demolish quarters housing some of their members working with BCOS.
He called on the state government under the leadership of Gov. Seyi Makinde to have a rethink on the development.
The NUJ chairman demanded that 50 per cent of the senior staff quarters be allocated to BCOS for future expansion “to guard against what befell similar corporations in Ibadan, like the FRCN where staffers and visitors are daily being confronted with parking problems because of the lack of focus for the Corporation’s expansion.”
“These structures here were put up by the government of retired Brig.-Gen David Jemibewon. I know there is no government in Nigeria that can afford to build this kind of structure today.
“BCOS has massive undeveloped land that can be used for the proposed estate than ejecting journalists from the quarters. This is a bad development,” he said.