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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Tinubu warns labour unions against condemning policies, others

Hours after the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) suspended its strike against hike in food prices and other items across the country, President Bola Tinubu has taken a swipe at labour unions, warning that their persistent actions against the government policies were becoming unacceptable.

Tinubu said that the labour unions should backtrack on their protests and strike strategies as well as maintain peace, saying the administration is less than a year old and cannot be examined properly.

The President took a shot at the unions in Lagos on Thursday during the inauguration of the state’s Red Line Rail service, two days after the NLC held a nationwide protest over the economic hardship in the country.

Addressing those in attendance at the inauguration, Tinubu, who asked for permission to throw a jab before sending a message to the Organised Labour, with main members being the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), stressed that they were not the only body representing the masses interest.

He said: “The Labour Union should understand that no matter how long we cling to our freedom and rights, the first strike within nine months of an administration is unacceptable.

“If you want to participate in the electoral process, wait until 2027. If not maintain peace. You are not the only voice of Nigerians.”

Away from the Organised Labour, the President hailed the Lagos Red Line Rail as evident that despite bureaucracy and agency guided by the right leadership and with a focus to work for the people will make a difference.

“I am pleased to declare to you that the momentum of greatness that we kick-started a quarter of a century ago has since become an unstoppable goal,” he said of the process that led to the completion of the 37-kilometres intra-state rail service, adding that it was aimed at improving transportation within the city.
“It is not a crime to dream and dream big; just stay focused and stay on course.”

‘Progress We Must Achieve’
The President also used the occasion to address Nigerians, pledging that things will get better.

He said, “I speak to Nigerians through this podium that change is possible, and change we must achieve. Progress we must achieve. It is not about a single individual. It is about the highest growing population in the world.”

For the President, the growing population also means the country cannot afford to relax as it must plan for the future.

“We must be committed to great value,” he said, “And this economy, we will grow it, we will feed ourselves out of the penury and we will be happy that we did it.

He also pledged that his administration would tackle corruption in the country, regardless of the fightback from beneficiaries.

“I agree (that) smugglers will fight back, corruption will fight back. We will fight them to ruins. Corruption will go away, (we will) save the money for you to educate our children, to pay for the healthcare system of our people, to pay for the modern transportation system that works for highest number of people, not those few smugglers.”

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