President Bola Tinubu and Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and president-general, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), have appealed to labour unions to shelve the nationwide strike slated to commence on Tuesday, October 3.
The unions had fixed the date to embark on an indefinite strike following the removal of the fuel subsidy, resulting in higher living costs.
Messrs Tinubu and Abubakar, at a public lecture to mark the nation’s 63rd Independence Anniversary on Friday in Abuja, urged the unions to sheath their swords “in the interest of the masses.”
Mr Tinubu, represented by Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin, appealed to the unions to give the government more time to address the issues.
The president announced that the federal government is determined to address Nigeria’s socio-economic challenges.
”Government has already gone ahead to provide N500 billion to states to cushion the effects of subsidy removal, ” he said.
The president enjoined members of the unions to consider dialogue as the best way to resolve the issues, adding, “This is not the time for strike. It is too early.”
”Please, let’s dialogue, let’s get together, let’s understand ourselves and let us look at the prevailing situation in the country,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Abubakar emphasised the need for dialogue to resolve the issues instead of embarking on a strike.
”I am an advocate of dialogue because strikes don’t solve problems; they make them worse. Our leaders must tighten their belts; the common man is suffering.
“I don’t think the government can take it upon itself to make life unbearable for the common man; let’s give them a chance and see what they can do,” he said.
According to him, strikes will add more problems to the existing economic situation.
”Please, let’s reach out to our brothers and sisters who are clamouring to go on strike. They should have a rethink,” Sultan appealed.