Against the backdrop of the insistence of the organized labour under the auspices of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to embark on nationwide strike next week, Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Sen. Lekan Balogun, CFR, Alli Okunmade II has pleaded with them to shelve the planned strike and explore ways of resolving the vexatious issues.
The workers’ unions are up in arms with the Federal Government over the deplorable conditions of living of the generality of Nigerians which was aggravated by the removal of subsidy on petroleum products and the perceived ineffectual of the palliatives arrangement put in place by the government so far.
Just as the Olubadan pleaded with the workers’ unions, he equally enjoined the government not to overstretch the people, asking that there must be tangible measures to reassure the people that the renewed hope agenda is truly for real.
This was contained in the 63rd independence day anniversary message released to the media by the Ibadan paramount ruler through his Personal Assistant (Media), Oladele Ogunsola on Saturday.
In the message in which he congratulated Mr. President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, his Vice, Sen. Kashim Shettima, states’ governors, the NASS members, other political leaders and the generality of Nigerians, Oba Balogun urged the 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.
“I plead for dialogue between the labour and the government and in dialoguing, 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 (ASUU) 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 added.
Olubadan acknowledged the position of the labour movement vis-a-viz the plight of workers and the generality of the people, noting that, “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 in view of what it inherited. Let’s be optimistic that with time, the situation would become normal.
“The President is a man of his words and there’s 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 promise Nigerians before the election”, Olubadan pleaded further.
Asking the President and his team to come up with some urgent decisions and actions that would cushion the effect of some of the already rolled-out policies, Oba Balogun reminded the government leaders to know that human endurance is not limitless and should not stretch Nigerians beyond the limit.
“As somebody at advantage position, having been a member of the National Assembly in the past, I can understand and appreciate the pains leaders go through when things seem not working according to expectation and plan, it is part of leadership prize. In a critical situation like this, leaders need divine touch, understanding and compassion on the part of the people and God will guide us right”, he further admonished.
Oba Balogun congratulated Nigerians on this year’s independence day anniversary and enjoined all to be thankful to God for keeping the country 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.
“Let’s remain optimistic, committed and steadfast with unshakeable faith in God for a better and prosperous nation that all of us would be proud of once again. Happy Independence Day Anniversary”, Olubadan greeted all.