Striking workers in Oyo State have embarked on a three-day fasting and prayer over the current industrial crisis in the state.
Speaking in Ibadan on Wednesday, Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), in the state, Comrade Waheed Olojede said the move was informed by the realisation that the current crisis needed divine intervention for government to meet workers’ demands.
“We have started a seven days marathon fasting and prayer since Monday, because we have come to realise that this is a critical time that we need to seek God’s intervention for the government to meet our demands and to sustain us in this struggle”
Reacting, the State Commissioner for Information and Culture, Toye Arulogun welcomed the idea, saying that it will bring solutions to the crisis rocking the state.
“We need God to deliver this state from economic meltdown and if the workers are praying I believe it will assist us more. We are sensitive to their welfare and government is looking for ways to meet their demands. Government will meet labour leaders shortly to dialogue and reach a consensus.”
Speaking further, NLC leader, Olojede said the union is still open for negotiation with the state government anytime, anywhere.
He however rubbished the trade associations’ rally held in support of Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Monday, describing it as “misguided and uncalled for”.
“We believe that those who did the solidarity rally might have done it in error and ignorance. Shortly after the rally the comment of the general public have condemned it. Many of them who attended the rally regretted their action and claimed that they were deceived to go there and they would not have attended the rally if they were told that the rally was in support of sale of secondary schools in the state.
“How will a trader go and attend a rally that was organised by a state government that has failed to pay six months salaries, bearing in mind that they cannot sell without the payment of the salaries of the workers.
Workers and labour leaders in this state remain committed, undaunted and we shall not resume without government meeting our demands.”
Olojede noted that the state government has accepted to withdraw a case that was instituted against them at the magistrate court but noted that they are waiting to confirm their sincerity on Friday when the case will be coming up.
He then added that the government is yet to send its own representatives to constitute the committee to look into the issue of the six months salaries owed the workers.