Saturday, 9th December 2023

S’West workers, CSOs protest, urge Tinubu to cut governance cost

By Seye Olumide, Moyosore Salami (Ibadan), Timothy Agbor (Osogbo), Ayodele Afolabi (Ado-Ekiti) and Adewale Momoh (Akure)
03 August 2023   |   3:15 am
Wokers in Ondo State, yesterday, joined their counterparts across the country to protest against the hardship currently being experienced by Nigerians.

• Demand reversal of subsidy removal, anti-people policies• Oyo NLC urges FG to address economic hardship

Wokers in Ondo State, yesterday, joined their counterparts across the country to protest against the hardship currently being experienced by Nigerians.

During the protest within Akure metropolis, the workers, under the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), urged President Bola Tinubu to promptly reduce the cost of governance.

According to them, the money being expended on running of government, if reduced, will also help to cushion the severe impact of the removal of fuel subsidy on Nigerians.

Chairman of NLC in the state, Victor Amoko, described the subsidy removal as a smart move on part of the government, but said that the situation had led to profound hardship for the people.

Amoko emphasised that the policies implemented by the government had placed a heavy burden on every household across the nation.

He said the increase in the price of petroleum products had led to an astronomical hike in transport fares, food, goods and services, tuition fees, and cost of accessing quality healthcare services in the country.

On his part, the State Chairman of the TUC, Clement Fatuase, said the inhuman policies introduced by the government would not be tolerated.

He urged the government to implement agreements reached with the organised labour to avoid further crippling of the economy.

Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Union Matters, Dare Aragbaiye, assured the workers that their demands would be conveyed to the President.

Relatedly, Chairmen of the NLC and TUC in Ekiti State, Kolapo Olatunde and Sola Adigun, yesterday, urged Tinubu to reverse the subsidy removal, fix refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna and also stop anti-people policies.

They also demanded reversal of fuel subsidy removal and all anti-poor policies.
The organised labour, in their message to Governor Biodun Oyebanji, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Abibat Adubiaro and Head of Service, Bamidele Agbede, at the Government House, further demanded the release of withheld salaries of university lecturers and workers.

The governor promised to deliver their demands to President Bola Tinubu.

Meanwhile, workers in Oyo State, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to address anti-human policies and economic hardship plaguing the nation.

The state’s chairmen of the NLC and TUC, Kayode Martins and Bosun Olabiyi, said the policies implemented by the government are strangling the people and driving them to the brink.

However, a former Minister of Communications, Bayo Shittu, in his reaction to the protest, urged the protesting workers to give the Federal Government more time to address the issues on ground.

Also, a South-West leader of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), Bisi Olopoeyan, said it is imperative for Tinubu to find a solution to fuel price increase.

In Osun State, different labour groups, yesterday, held separate protests in Osogbo against removal of fuel subsidy.

A group, loyal to the caretaker chairman of the NLC in the state, assembled at Freedom Park Osogbo, while members of TUC, led by Adebowale Adekola, assembled at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding in Osogbo.

Also, members of the Osun Civil Societies Coalition, joined by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), held another protest march through major streets of the state capital.

Chairman of Osun CSOs, Waheed Lawal, who spoke after joining the NLC group at Freedom Park, said: “Everyone must come out to stop the move to further impoverish Nigerians.

Also, Vice President of NUEE, Sodiq Adewale, said: “The subsidy removal has brought untold hardship on Nigerians. The policies of this government are anti-masses; they are nothing to write home about. Irrespective of the crisis in labour in Osun State, we have to mobilise and come to show that we are tired of this hardship in this country.”

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