A Civil Society Organization under the aegis of Civil Society and Workers Dialogue Forum (CSWDF) has expressed its disapproval of the proposed strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) scheduled to commence on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
The organisation in a statement issued by its Convener, Abubakar Ibrahim and Rafiu Shaibu, Co-convener, Bashir Faisal, in Abuja on Wednesday described the action as an economic sabotage.
It described the planned action as a deliberate mischief given that the NLC is insensitive to its own part of dialogue with the Federal Government over the petrol subsidy removal impasse.
The CSO assured that it would always lend its voice if the NLC decides to toe the path of nobility, embrace dialogue and shelve the strike.
The CSO said the NLC had fully agreed to the withdrawal of fuel subsidy which it had earlier advocated for.
It added that “having the subsidy that has been draining government for years removed should be supported by all stakeholders, rather than ‘evil kick’ as it were.
The group said it acknowledged difficulty faced by Nigerians and explained that the Federal Government had made deft moves in rehabilitating the refineries to reduce the cost of PMS and gas importation.
It added that the recent distribution of palliatives to the tune of N5 billion to each of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory is part of efforts to mitigate the effects until things normalise.
It added that no government anywhere in the world derives pleasure in the suffering of its people.
“The wage increase of workers is being negotiated with NLC constituting membership of the committee, hence we are appalled at what the proposed strike intends to achieve.
“As opposed to the past, the NLC has always been on the negotiation table before any decision was taken by this administration,” the group said.
The CSO recalled that in June 2023, “the labour union was in talks with the Federal Government over fuel subsidy removal without carrying other stakeholders along which we protested our exclusion.
“Having agreed with President Bola Tinubu’s administration, only for the workers union to recant and proposed an indefinite strike is counter-productive and we will mobilise our members across the 36 states and FCT for anti-NLC protest,” the CSO said.
It added that the statement should serve as official notice to the Director of State Service, Inspector General of Police and other security agencies, that it is going to mobilise to streets against NLC on Oct. 3.
The group said that some states had purchased buses for public transportation and has also added fund to the FG’s offer to them to cushion effects of the subsidy removal in their respective states.
It insisted that the proposed strike is inappropriate thereby calling on citizens not to allow themselves to be used against the genuine interest of government.