The Oyo State government has warned civil servants in the state against joining the ongoing strike action of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), saying that the ‘no work, no pay’ rule is in force in the state.
The government also warned protesters and dissenters against “testing the resolve of law enforcement agencies, who, he said, had the constitutional mandate to crush any attempt to breach the peace of the land”.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Olalekan Alli, issued the warning in a statement issued on Sunday.
The Comrade Ayuba Wabba-led faction of the NLC last Wednesday started an industrial action to protest the recent hike in price of petrol.
The SSG urged members of the public to go about their legitimate duties and obligations without fear of intimidation and harassment, warning individual or groups determined to hide under the guise of protest to foment trouble or engage in vandalism to have a rethink.
Alli, in his statement, said deregulation of the downstream oil sector was the best option open to the Federal Government in the prevailing circumstance.
He, however, advocated the provision of palliatives by the Federal Government to cushion the spiralling adverse effects of the new fuel pump price regime on the citizens.
“Deregulation appears the most realistic approach to solving the unpalatable experiences of the public in getting fuel at affordable price pending the time the necessary infrastructure for local refining of crude oil will be upgraded and expanded.
“Similarly, we assert that it is the responsibility of those who are against this government policy thrust, e.g. the organised labour, civil society groups, etc, to canvass public opinion against such policies without resort to threat and the intimidation of those who may chose not to agree with them.
“Consequently, government warns protesters and dissenters from taking the laws into their hands under any guise that may be construed as constituting public nuisance and a breach of the peace.
“For the avoidance of doubt, as ruled by the National Industrial Court, the current strike is illegal and consequently the ‘no work no pay’ policy shall apply in the state’s public service.”
The government stressed that the National Industrial Court had ruled against the strike and declared it illegal before it even started.
Alli declared that change was an inevitable phenomenon towards the attainment of progress in the country, just as he advised the government and the NLC to consider each other as partners in service to and progress of the country.
He advised labour leaders to embrace the FG’s clarion call for further dialogue over the matter for genuine mutually beneficial interests to be further pursued.
“However as this dialogue goes on, members of the public are enjoined to keep the peace, as anything otherwise will attract sanctions by the law enforcement agencies who are prepared to ensure there is no breach of the peace.”