329 views | Stanley Ugagbe | October 5, 2020
The ever defensive Buhari-led government has again berated Nigerians who decried the Organized Labour for suspending the planned strike in protest of the hike in electricity tariff and increase in fuel price.
The News Chronicle had reported how the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress called off the strike barely hours before its commencement following an agreement with the Federal Government.
The action of the organized Labour, however, did not augur well in the public domain as the leaders of the unions were lambasted – some Nigerians saying their palms have been greased with money.
Reacting to the public outrage over the suspended strike, the Presidency in a statement by Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, described those against the suspension as enemies of the country.
The statement, which was obtained by the News Chronicle, reads: “Since Organized Labour toed the path of sense and sensibility last week, seeing reason with the imperatives of fuel price adjustment, and opening a further window of dialogue on the service based electricity tariff, some groups of Nigerians have been dolorous, disgruntled, and disconsolate.
“They had apparently perfected plans to use the strike by the labour unions as smokescreen to unleash anarchy on the land, fomenting mayhem and civil disobedience. But the plan blew up in their faces, and they have been in severe pains since then. They have launched series of tirades against Organized Labour”.
Adesina said for some interest groups, their intention was to use the umbrella of the strike to further their whimsical and pie-in-the-sky dream of a revolution in the country, noting that “It went bust in their faces”.
“For some others, Bitter-Enders, who have remained entrenched in pre-2015 and 2019 elections mode, it was opportunity to avenge the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protests, which they believe largely devalued the government of the day, and led to its eventual ouster in 2015.
“The strike that was to have come up last week, they wanted to use as opportunity for a pound of flesh, which they calculated would weaken the government so much, and influence the 2023 elections. For them, it was all about hanker for power, its trappings and appurtenances. Nothing about love of country. They have since then been calling Organized Labour all sorts of names, claiming they deceived Nigerians.
“The times in which we live-with severe security, economic and social challenges-call for all hands to be on deck, and goodwill and support for government, as it strives to put the nation on an even keel. We commend Organized Labour for putting the country first”.
Adesina averred that “Those sponsoring and encouraging discord and anarchy, either for selfish ends, or as revenge for perceived injuries, are enemies of the country. Nigerians are urged to beware of them, as the Muhammadu Buhari government is only interested in engendering better quality of life for the citizenry. Nothing more”.