By Henry Umoru
FORMER Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, APC, Borno South, has asked President Bola Tinubu to personally lead negotiation with the Nigeria labour Congress, following its threat to call workers out on strike on Wednesday over removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.
He also appealed to the leadership of NLC to embrace negotiation with government in the interest of the people.
Recall that NLC leaders had said they would stay away from the negotiation meeting with the federal government, insisting that government has to revert to the old price of petrol before there could be any negotiation.
But in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, Ndume said: “This fuel subsidy removal is something we must do now or never. We need to open the wounds now and begin to heal them.
”The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, needs to work with the government and see how the effects can be minimised. If we don’t remove the subsidy now, some people will continue to milk this country. NLC should go to the negotiation table with the Federal Government.
“The NLC should not go on a strike first before negotiation. They should not make that mistake. Beside, there is no budget for subsidy. Where will the money come from?
“I call on President Tinubu to personally meet with Labour leaders and resolve the issues. He should also assure them that things will be all right.”
He also said with the appointment of Senator George Akume as Secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF, agitation by leaders from the North Central zone about the non-inclusion of the region in the appropriation of 10th National Assembly leadership positions had been laid to rest.
Ndume, who noted that President Tinubu had demonstrated that his campaign mantra “Renewed Hope”, had come to stay, said all the appointees so far announced by President Tinubu were senators and a speaker of the House of Representatives.
According to him, the administration of President Tinubu will be rancour-free, especially from the perspective of its relationship with the National Assembly, unlike previous administrations that undermined the parliament.
Ndume said: “I want to commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for keeping to his campaign mantra, ‘Renewed Hope’. This is the first time politicians are appointed by a President to head key positions in government. This will be a rancour-free administration. All the appointees so far are grassroots politicians.
“George Akume was a governor, minister, a senator and now the Secretary to Government of the Federation. President Tinubu is a senator, Kashim Shettima is a senator. The First Lady is a senator, Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff to the President is a veteran parliamentarian. Even the Chief of Staff to the Vice President, Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, is a senator too.“
“It means there won’t be any reason to have any rancour with the National Assembly. The executive will be run by former members of the National Assembly, unlike previous governments run by so called technocrats who brought in consultants to steal our money. This is truly democracy at work.“
powerful people in government.”