President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, have called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to shelve their planned indefinite strike action over the removal of fuel subsidy.
LEADERSHIP reports that the organised Labour had fixed Tuesday, October 3, for the commencement of an indefinite strike to protest fuel subsidy removal by President Tinubu administration.
But, speaking during a public lecture and special Juma’at prayer to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Anniversary at the National Mosque in Abuja on Friday, President Tinubu appealed to the workers not to embark on the strike action.
Represented by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau Jibrin, Tinubu reiterated the commitment of his administration to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal on workers and Nigerian masses.
“The Sultan has talked about the issue of strike by NLC. I also call on behalf of His Excellency, the President, and the entire government that the labour leaders should shelve the strike. Let’s dialogue, let’s sit together, let’s understand ourselves and let’s look at the prevailing situation in the country. How do we meet this country, the challenges ahead and the current challenges? It is through dialogue that we can be able to solve our problems collectively?
“This government is new and it is working hard to bring succour to the entire people of this country. It has set aside N500bn and other packages are being unveiled to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal. Therefore, we need to support and pray for the government,” Senator Jibrin was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesperson, Ismail Mudashir.
Earlier, the Sultan also appealed to the organised labour to shelve the strike, urging them to give the federal government another chance. “For God’s sake, for Allah’s sake, anybody planning to go on strike should please give the government another chance. Please rethink and give the government another chance,” he said, emphasising the need for the labour leaders to embrace dialogue.
The Sultan, who said he has been involved in the negotiation of the labour leaders and government since 2007, said if the NLC and TUC embarked on the strike, it would do more harm than good.
On the 63rd Independence Anniversary of the country, the Sultan, who is also the President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), said hope was not lost and urged all to have hope. “Let us have hope, we must have hope, and let us not give up. We will get it right,” the Sultan stated.