Oba Lekan Balogun, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, on Saturday, appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress and its Trade Union Congress counterpart to tread with caution over their proposed nationwide strike scheduled to begin on Tuesday, October 3, urging the Federal Government not to overstretch Nigerians.
The PUNCH had reported that the labour union after it met with the Federal Government which ended in a deadlock, called the members to embark on a nationwide strike next week.
Olubadan, in his 63rd Independence Day Anniversary statement by his assistant on media, Oladele Ogunsola, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, further urged the labour leaders to shelve the planned strike and explore ways of resolving the vexatious issues.
He said, “I want to plead with the workers’ unions and urge the government not to overstretch the people. There must be tangible measures to reassure the people that the renewed hope agenda is truly for real.
“I plead for dialogue between the labour and government. There should be openness and understanding, bearing in mind that where two elephants fight, it is the grass there that suffers. Let’s be mindful of the effect of total paralysis on our battered economy. Consider the sick, consider the students from our nursery school to the university among several others that would bear the brunt. The loss is simply incalculable.
“I want our labour leaders to cast their minds back to the last prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the effect on our students. How do we compensate for the loss of a whole academic session in the lives of the affected students? Such loss is eternal because it is not possible to wind back the hand of the clock. That’s just an example.” The monarch pleaded.
Balogun acknowledged the position of the labour movement vis-a-viz the plight of workers and the generality of the people, adding “Things are really bad and living in the country becoming hellish for the people day by day, but, we need to apply caution, considering the short time of the present administration so far and given what it inherited. Let’s be optimistic that with time, the situation will become normal.
“The President, Bola Tinubu, is a man of his word and there is no reason to doubt his ability and capability to deliver on his campaign promises. Let’s give him more time and equally assist him with prayers. Very soon, I strongly believe we would be seeing the glimpses of the renewed hope promised Nigerians before the election.” Olubadan promised.
He, therefore, congratulated Tinubu, his Vice, Kashim Shettima, states’ Governors, the NASS members, other political leaders and the generality of Nigerians on this auspicious occasion.
The monarch equally urged them to talk to labour leaders to prevail on their members to bear with the present administration with the mindset that no problem could be solved with another problem.
Olubadan congratulated Nigerians on this year’s anniversary and enjoined them to be thankful to God for keeping Nigeria together irrespective of the myriad of challenges the country has encountered and still encountering.
“Looking back, at 63, we may be tempted to write ourselves off as a nation for not having attained the expected and commensurate height, but, if we think deeply, we will see the need to appreciate and acknowledge the divine touch of God in the affairs of the country and for which I felicitate all,” he submitted.