Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has appealed to members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) not to proceed with their planned strike in response to the removal of fuel subsidy, as announced by President Bola Tinubu during his inaugural speech.
Earlier, the NLC had given the federal government a five-day ultimatum to reverse the increase in petrol price or face a nationwide protest.
Addressing reporters on Sunday, June 4, after a post-inauguration church thanksgiving service, Governor Sanwo-Olu urged the labour leaders to collaborate with the present administration in its efforts to revitalize the country’s economy.
“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.
“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.”