Monday, 2nd October 2023

Yoruba Ronu urges Tinubu to prevent labour unions’ strike

By Seye Olumide, Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan) and Kehinde Olatunji (Lagos)
05 June 2023   |   2:29 am
A South-West socio-political group, Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, yesterday, urged President Bola Tinubu to negotiate properly with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria...

Akin Malaolu

• Aragbiji, Tella, Olurode hail President’s bold stance on fuel subsidy
• Yoruba group frowns on NLC’s planned strike over removal
• Describes move as economic sabotage, political grandstanding

A South-West socio-political group, Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, yesterday, urged President Bola Tinubu to negotiate properly with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) over fuel subsidy removal to avoid a nationwide strike, which the unions plan to begin on Wednesday.

President of the forum, Akin Malaolu, who spoke with The Guardian, urged Tinubu to redouble his efforts at averting the strike. He said: “The President must admit to his own perplexing error of allowing unknown person to be part of the negotiating team. As it is today, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) is now private and therefore cannot fix the prices of petroleum products for the country. This must be clearly recognised.

“President Tinubu should therefore keep NNPCL off the negotiating table. A new official team known to our laws must be arranged immediately to take charge.

“The body must be set aside for new template that recognises the conditions of Nigeria and Nigerians.”

MEANWHILE, the Aragbiji of Iragbiji in Osun State, Oba Abdul Rasheed Olabomi; a former Deputy Editor of the defunct National Concord and Federal Commissioner at the National Hajj Commission, Liad Tella and a former National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Lai Olurode, have hailed the bold stance of Tinubu on the removal of fuel subsidy.

They spoke, at the weekend, during the 2023 distinguished role model award to celebrate some individuals from Iwo that had attained the position of professorship, organised by The Wings Schools, Iwo, Osun State.

ALSO, the apex umbrella body of all Yoruba indigenous people, Yoruba Council Worldwide (YCW), has described the planned strike by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government as an act of economic sabotage.

The group, in a statement by its President, Oladotun Hassan, described the proposed strike as ill-motivated, noting that picketing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) offices nationwide and not NNPCL, is a deliberate premeditated ploy to cause monumental havoc, considering the siamese (i.e. twin) political affinity and negative positions of the NLC and Labour Party (LP) at the last presidential election.”

The statement reads in part: “Surprisingly, this is the same political campaign agenda of the Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to remove and scrap fuel subsidy immediately if elected. So, what has changed?

“It is highly hypocritical to see the labour union leaders and their ilk involved in such a deceitfully clandestine and criminally crafted plans, considering the purveyors of the strike who are mainly hardcore ‘Obidients’ using the sentiments of the current economic situation to orchestrate the ill-motivated chaotic total shutting down of the economy.

“We hereby serve a note of warning to the NLC and all her affiliates to desist from this political grandstanding and evil machinations to disrupt the wheel of progress of governance predicated on successful start of a renewed hope agenda.

“We urge Nigerians to continue to support and rally round the new administration of President Tinubu and Vice President Senator Kashim Shettima led Federal Government, based on their genuine robust plans to positively reposition the Oil and Gas industry and strategically grow the economy in the overall interest of the greatest number.

“The Federal Government which already commits 96 percent of its revenue in servicing debt is not in any position to continue selling subsidised fuel, most of which is smuggled across our borders for criminal and obscenely unpatriotic profit.