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CNPP urges rescue of nation’s economy from collapse


NLC• Chamber wants labour to shelve strike
• NANS to shut campuses in Ekiti

As labour braces up for a show down over the fuel pump price increase, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has warned Nigerians not to be deceived again ahead of the planned industrial action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), saying that instead of embarking on protest all hands must be on deck to rescue the nation’s economy from total collapse.

The CNPP also accused Labour of insincerity in its opposition to government policies as it urged Nigerians not to trust the Labour unions because they have been compromised.

The opposition parties while expressing concern over the plight of Nigerians since the increase in pump price of petrol to N145 per liter said that the planned strike action “for Wednesday won’t last beyond Friday as the labour unions were using the strike as a ploy to scuttle genuine actions against the increment in pump price as they did in 2012.”

The CNPP, in a statement jointly signed yesterday, by its National Chairman, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and the Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu advised Nigerians to disregard the planned protest by labour, pointing out that the plight of Nigerians under this period of hardship should be genuinely addressed rather than allow a compromised labour to hijack the process.

According to the CNPP, “What the labour unions are doing now by calling for a strike action was what they did in 2012 during the Occupy Nigeria protests in response to similar increase in the pump price of petrol under former President Goodluck Jonathan. The labour unions later scuttled the action by purportedly entering into an agreement with the then government on behalf of Nigerians and ended up fixing the pump price of petrol at N97.00 per liter.

“We have it on good authority that the labour leaders have compromised. Recall that the labour leaders were at a meeting where the decision to inflict more and more pains on the already impoverished Nigerian people by increasing the pump price was taken and never protested against it. Why the sudden u-turn by the
same labour leaders?”

Meanwhile, the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has called on the NLC to shelve its planned strike.Reacting to the state of economy of the country and the proposed strike in Abuja over the weekend, the President of the Chamber Tony Ejinkeonye, said that the already complicated economic situation of the country would be further compounded if economic activities are again grounded by the strike action proposed by the union.

He said what the country needs at this critical period of economic downturn is support on any government policy that is capable of bringing the situation under control.

His words: “The chamber is calling on the NLC to shelve their planned nationwide strike. Our economy need not suffer any more knocks. We are asking labour and indeed all Nigerians to support the government at this time. ‘’

Also, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ekiti chapter,Has vowed to shut down all tertiary institutions in the state on Tuesday, to protest the hike in the price of petrol by the Federal Government.

The student body, in a statement by the chairman of the chapter, Comrade Shina Awopeju, on Sunday, said the astronomical increase of the petrol pump price from N87 to N145 by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is ‘‘cruel, wicked, insensitive and brazenly oppressive’.’

Awopeju said all the tertiary institutions in the state, both private and public, would be shut down ‪on Tuesday, May 17 in protest if President Buhari refuses to reverse the policy, he described as ill-timed and obnoxious.

The students’ leader averred that the unwarranted increase would exacerbate the level of inflation in the already debased economy and exert untold hardship on poor Nigerians.

Meanwhile, Lagos based rights lawyer, who was recently released on bail from the detention, Ebun Olu – Adegboruwa has called on the Federal Government to forthwith rescind the increase in the price of petroleum products.

Adegboruwa said the price increment has turned the misfortunes of Nigerians to total misery.
“Most families are struggling to eke out a living for themselves and so it is totally insensitive for any government to add to the economic trauma of our people”, he added.

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