Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu of Lagos state, has appealed to the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, to shelve its planned strike.
His appealed comes barely 78 hours to the planned strike by the Joe Ajaero-led NLC, in response to the recent removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.
The five-day warning strike is billed to commence on June 7.
Recall that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced during his inauguration on May 29, that his government had ended the petrol subsidy regime.
The development has received strong criticism from the organised Labour, including the Trade Union Congress, TUC, and others who said the removal will bring untold hardship to their members nationwide.
Governor Sanwo-olu, on his part, said this is the time for NLC to consult with the government and other stakeholders on how to resolve the fuel removal logjam, begging them to forget any strike action for now.
The Lagos Governor made the appeal on Sunday during a special service at the Cathedral Church, Marina, Lagos.
He said the NLC need to work with state governments who are already working on palliatives to cushion the effects of subsidy Removal on Nigerians.
He urged NLC to be patient with President Tinubu who has spent barely a month in office, adding that what is paramount now is how to turn the economy around, Tinubu should be allowed “to reflect” on how to turn the country around for good, he said.
The governors had during the week endorsed the removal, saying that is the way to go.
According to Sanwo-olu, “This is not the time to go on strike. Recall that all presidential candidates said the first thing they will do is remove fuel subsidy. So what has changed? What has President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said or done that is different from what others would have done?
“The president has not even spent one week in office. We need to be very patient and reason together. Let us not make the issue about politics, but let’s support this man. We should allow him to go and reflect.
“Strike will not resolve anything; it won’t address the issue. The point should be how to ensure a sustained turnaround in our economy.
“The president mentioned better wages, and we started that in Lagos in January, and I hope other states can key into it.
“We don’t need to wait for the national government, we just need to reflect on what the challenges are in the country and seek ways to resolve them.
“So I plead with the NLC to not turn the subsidy issue into a political one. The leadership should know they are leading people and so there is a need to restrain themselves.
“Let us be patient and work with the president. NNPC has said it has more than enough fuel to go round, so there is no need to heat up the polity.
“We should not get political because it is governance, and the people must see purposeful governance,” the governor said.
Meanwhile, not a few analysts have criticized the president for rushing rushing to declare that “subsidy is gone”, when he had enough time to consult on the issue with critical stakeholders.
His unilateral action, they insist, has now thrown the country into the current crisis, and the government is looking for a way out through dialogue with NLC and other Nigerians who kicked against petrol subsidy removal.
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