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February 27, 2024

Updated: Hardship: Makinde joins labour protest in Oyo, says there’s hunger, anger in the land

No controversy on Olubadan-designate – Seyi Makinde

Makinde

By Adeola Badru, Ibadan

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, joined Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC protesters in the state in raising agitation about the deteriorating economic situation in the country.

The governor said hardship and poverty have reached alarming levels, with many unable to feed themselves or find work. 

He urged all parties to work together to find solutions, expressing hope that the situation can be turned around. 

Governor Makinde noted that the worsening economic situation is not unique to Oyo State, but rather a nationwide issue. 

He called on the Federal Government to take action to alleviate the suffering of the people, emphasizing the need for policies that promote growth and job creation. 

Recognising the prevailing hunger and discontent in the nation, Makinde emphasided the importance of unity in addressing the challenges, stating: “The solution lies in our collective efforts to tackle these issues.”

The governor pledged to convey the concerns raised by the NLC and civil society organizations in the state regarding the economic hardships to President Bola Tinubu.

He assured the protesters of his commitment to fostering a better future for Nigeria, highlighting the initiatives implemented by his administration since October to alleviate the impact of the economic difficulties, such as the introduction of various programs and the payment of a N25,000 wage bonus.

Encouraging peaceful demonstrations, Governor Makinde urged the protesters to maintain order both during and after the protest.

His words: “My message to the protesters and people of Oyo State is to simply let them know that this is a trying period for our country. It is not the time for divisive activities. We have to pull together and confront the challenges that we are faced with.”

“Usually, when you are going through a period where you are trying to reform a system, there will be challenges. We have seen it in 1989 during the Structural Adjustment Programme. We had a riot but, at the end of the day, we still all came together to solve our problem.”

“I told the labour and also responded to the NLC president that this is not the time for lies and propaganda. They cannot say no state is paying wage awards as we have started paying it to our workers and pensioners since October, last year.”

“Even, I have extended it by another six months to give us the opportunity to sit down and negotiate the minimum wage and the adjustment that will come with it.”

“So, I have appealed to them though I know that this protest is their right. I will pass the letter they gave to me to the President.”

‘There is hunger and hardship in the land. We must do something about it.”

Earlier, the state’s NLC chairman,  Kayode Martins and other labour union leaders appealed to the Federal Government to find lasting solution to economic hardship facing the country.

While addressing the protesters, Martins said Nigerians are hungry because cost of living across the nation is high, adding that an hungry man is an angry man.

He lamented that a working class person can no longer fed himself talkless of his family because the situation is now unbearable for a common man, saying the harship is caused by removal of fuel subsidy.

“Now that much money has been acruel to the federal government purse after fuel subsidy removal, they should spread it on economic and other things that can make life easier for common man.”

“The main thing has to do with PMS, our oil should be produce locally and refine locally, for in stance, a single man built refinery within two to three years, the past administration was there for good eight year without doing anything.”

“Let’s have our oil refine locally, we shouldn’t be suffering, we belong to oil producing countries, only Nigerians are suffering in all these countries, these resources are there for our everybody, our leaders are just there to manage it on our behalf, but Nigerian elites are taking people for granted.”

He, however, urged government to always be proactive in doing things that will alliviate suffering of the masses, and not until people come on streets, wailing and cry before the needful could be done.