Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has made an earnest plea to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), urging them not to proceed with a strike in response to the removal of petrol subsidy.
During his inauguration speech on May 29, President Bola Tinubu declared the end of petrol subsidy. This announcement immediately led to the reappearance of long queues at fuel stations and an increase in the pump price of petrol nationwide.
In response, the NLC issued a five-day ultimatum to the federal government, demanding a reversal to the previous petrol price or face a nationwide protest. NLC President Joe Ajaero stated that the government had until Wednesday to reinstate the old price of N195.
After attending a post-inauguration church thanksgiving service on Sunday, Governor Sanwo-Olu spoke with reporters, urging labor leaders to collaborate with the current administration in its efforts to revitalize the country’s economy and create a better Nigeria for all.
“We are thankful that Mr President is a product of Lagos. We will pray for him and everything that he stands for. We believe he will replicate all the good things he has done in Lagos in our country, Nigeria,” Sanwo-Olu said.
“I want to wish and plead with our citizens even as NLC has said to us that they want to go on strike. It is not the time for a strike. During the campaign trail, everyone of our presidential candidates did say that the first thing they are going to do is to remove the subsidy.
“So, what has changed? What has the current president said or what has he done that is different from what any of the other aspirants said they would do?
“We need to be very patient. He (President Tinubu) has not even done a week. So let us talk to ourselves and say that we shouldn’t turn it political. Let us wait and support this man. He has not done a week on the job. Let him go and reflect and at the sub-national level, we are willing to support him.
“The point is no industrial strike will solve anything at this point, it will certainly not bring an end to the issue. The point will be how are we going to ensure that there is a turnaround in our economy.
“He has mentioned something about a better wage. We have started that in Lagos. We started it in January; so other parts of the country can also do the same. We don’t need to wait for the national government. We just need to reflect on what the challenges are in our country and let us solve the problem.
“I want to plead with the Nigeria Labour Congress. It shouldn’t turn into a political thing because we have begun to see that. The leadership should know that they are leading a pack of people and they need to restrain themselves. Let us be patient. Let us work around it. NNPC has said that there is more than enough petrol.”