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Saturday, 30 September 2023 06:20

Independence: Tinubu seeks Nigerians’ support, urges Labour to shelve planned strike

President Bola Tinubu has called for the support of the citizens as Nigeria marks its 63rd Independence anniversary celebration.

Represented by the Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau, at the Public Lecture and Special Juma’at Prayer with the topic: “Renewed Hope In The Face of Socio-economic Challenges in Nigeria: Islamic Model”, the president said Nigeria in its journey of nationhood has not done badly when compared to other countries of the world.

He said Nigeria can only succeed if the leaders and the led come together to bring prosperity to the country furthered that the government has been working on how to bring relief to Nigerians through the N500 billion released to bring succour to Nigerians through palliatives which have commenced in some states of the federation.

“We should all thank Allah for being able to make us witness this very very important anniversary which is the 63rd year of our nationhood. And that we should further congratulate all of us on this very important anniversary. And that we should realise the fact that our country when compared to other countries that got independence about the same time we have done very well while others have done better than us. Therefore as we celebrate this anniversary we should use this period as a time reflection: what have we done successfully and what are our failures? That is why the theme of the topic of this lecture delivered by Prof Luqman is very germane. We should look forward to where we have succeeded and look at our failures so that we can make amendments in order to bring prosperity to our nation.

“It is a time that we have to make and also contribute as individuals and as collective people of this country in making sure that we all work hand in hand with the government of the day in bringing prosperity to this country.

“The Sultan has said and I want to emphasize as well that the government is doing everything within its powers to make sure it brings succour to the entire people of this country. On this note, the government has gone ahead to provide funds of N500 billion in order to bring about a package of palliatives to bring succour and to reduce suffering being experienced as a result of the removal of the oil subsidy. Already some amount of money has been disbursed to the states and the process of delivering this palliative has started and more and more will come later in with what is contained in the package. Therefore we need to give support to the government and pray for the government. The task of leading the nation does not reside on the shoulders of the leaders alone. It is something that lies on the shoulders of all of us. Therefore not let us not look at it as government alone. It is only if you pray and support us that we will achieve our desire to make this nation greater.

“The Sultan also talked about the issue of strike and NLC. Please, I also call on behalf of the president and the entire government that is not the time for a strike. It is too early. Let’s dialogue. Let’s sit together. Let’s understand ourselves and let us look at the prevailing situation in the country. How we mend this country, the challenges ahead and the current challenges. It is only through dialogue that we will be able to solve our problems collectively. May the almighty make this country a place of prosperity and continue to be a land of economic Eldorado.

…Sultan, Oluwo Too

The Sultan of Sokoto and the President, the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Nigeria and the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi, have called on the organised labour to have a rethink about the proposed strike slated for next week Tuesday, October 3, 2023. The monarchs, while pleading with the labour unions to give the government more time for dialogue, said the strike would inflict more pain and suffering on Nigerians. They however called on the government to find ways of providing the needs of every Nigerian.

According to Sultan, “People are impatient and we have every reason to be impatient because our lives matter. The government must find every way and means to ensure that there is food on the table of the common man and that is why (the leaders) they are elected. As I have said and I have this fervent belief that the president is a listening president and when issues are taking place he will look at such issues. And that is why I’m an advocate of dialogue. I don’t believe we should embark on this strike in the next couple of days because the common man will suffer more than the leaders you are targeting. President Tinubu will not know because he is in The Villa where everything is at his comfort. So is the SGF. So is the Deputy Senate President. I think I’m the only one who would feel that there is a strike because people will come to me. My house must open I can’t ask anybody to go out.

“The common man will suffer the more and that is why we are against anything strike from anybody. Give the government the chance to see what they can do. Give them (the government) a couple of months and see if they are honest enough. If they are not we are the ones who will even come out and say look, this government has failed. You cannot assess a government within the first three months, it is not possible because there is no government in the first place. They are just settling down.

“They are still in the court distractions here and there. So for God’s sake, for Allah’s sake, for peace to reign in our great country, anybody that want to go on strike should have a rethink and allow the government to call these people at state level, at the national level, at every level to discuss some of these issues. But of we see things going wrong, we will even be the one to say go on strike. Strike add woes on the common man. There is no electricity, there is no transport, there is no fuel. If you shut everything down, how will there be development? We are talking of social economy challenges. How do you face these challenges when you don’t have anything?

“We are clamouring for those that want to go on strike to have a rethink. Let the government give them another opening, let them give government too another opening and see how they can sit together. Unfortunately for me, I have been involved in this dialogue since 20007 whether it is ASUU or what I have been part of this and I know what transpired. We will be worse off than we are now than we will be in the next couple of months if this strike holds. And that is a fact. But if you feel you don’t love this country and you want the country down, then you can do what you think is right for you but for us, it is not right and I will keep on saying it,” the Sultan stated.

“I believe the government has good intentions and plans and I believe they will do their best for the country. This government came with a passion for the country and I believe this country will be great.

“I’m appealing to the NLC and other labour unions to shelve their strike and allow the government to work. A lot of things have been damaged. And things that have been damaged must be repaired. We have to be patient for that repair work to be done.”

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