Former Lagos governor and National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is begging the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, to suspend the ongoing strike it embarked over increment in the fuel pump price by the federal government.
Tinubu stormed the Labour House, the headquarters of the NLC on Friday.
After Tinubu’s plea the factional NLC president,Ayuba Wabba, said he was open to resuming negotiation with the government but vowed that the strike would continue.
The APC national leader, who arrived Labour House in company of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State,Senators Kabir Marafa and Suleiman Hunkuyi among other members of the party, appealed to the union to call off the strike and resume negotiation with government on the contending issues.
“I am here to appeal to you to understand that whatever you are doing now and whatever this government,led by Buhari is doing, is for the development of all Nigerians.
“I have come to appeal to you to suspend the action you have embarked upon and return to the negotiating table”
“I came to appeal to you to go back to history that we worked very hard to bring Nigeria to progressive path”
Of the Buhari administration, Tinubu said:
“I can guarantee that this government is the government of honesty and integrity. “Whatever is the anger,we must apply anger management.
“Whatever is the difference,I appeal to you,let’s go back to the negotiating table,let’s call off this strike,it is done on the street.”
“Yes,it’s good to fight out your differences,we are in a democracy,we have the freedom but we will end up negotiating and agreeing with one another.
“I want to appeal to you,I have come to beg not as a pride.I come on behalf of my party,I come on behalf of our government. It’s our collective government,APC is for progress,APC is for change. That is my submission.
In his response, Wabba said he had heard the Tinubu-led delegation’s message, assuring that he would convey it appropriately to the union’s various organs.
But he flayed the government over what he described as engagement in negotiations with both factions of the union, with a view to having divide and rule. Even as he said his union was open to resume negotiation with the government,Wabba vowed to press ahead with the strike.
“Your excellency,let me first thank you immensely for finding time and thinking it apt to visit the secretariat of the working class,the secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress.
“This alone,I think,has demonstrated the fact that you are concerned about the issues of development in our country and I think we must put on record,our appreciation for that,despite the fact that you know the situation we are in and despite the fact that you know the action we are in, which also may have captured very well that this action is not about personal issues,it’s about engaging policies.
“Overtime,NLC has actually led the vanguard and I think we have collaborated with a lot of civil society organisations even in the fight to bring about democracy.
“And I think these are some of the traditions that we cherish so much to actually continue to fight for policy engagement and also to ensure that there is development to address the issue of poverty and bring about social justice.
“And therefore,I think there is no much difference as regards what we are saying. I think the difference is only the approach.