Mr. Joseph Ambakederimo, Convener of South-South Reawakening Group, has voiced concerns over the planned nationwide strike set for October 3, organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and their Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) counterparts. In a recent development, the SSRG has expressed reservations about the impending strike, citing potential political motivations behind it. While acknowledging the economic challenges faced by Nigerians, the organization has raised questions regarding the strike’s underlying political aspects.
Political Innuendos Unveiled
SSRG became wary when the Labor Party issued a statement that appeared to be politically motivated. According to the organization, this raises concerns that organized labor might have allowed itself to be influenced by external forces with potentially sinister agendas, including efforts to destabilize the government of President Bola Tinubu.
A Plea to the Federal Government
SSRG has called on the Federal Government to employ all available means at its disposal to prevent the Labor Party from meddling in what should be a purely trade dispute between organized labor and the government. The organization believes that the accusations made by the Labor Party against the government do not reflect the actual situation, asserting that the organized labor’s actions have raised doubts about their own impartiality.
Balancing Workers’ Welfare with National Interests
While SSRG acknowledges the importance of workers demanding better wages, improved working conditions, and economic stimulus, the organization is concerned about the potential adverse consequences of a prolonged strike. These consequences include rising inflation rates, decreased purchasing power, job losses, economic stagnation, and a loss of investor confidence.
SSRG emphasizes that the constant strikes employed by organized labor may deter foreign investors, leading to capital flight. It highlights the significant pledges made by investors during President Tinubu’s trip to India, which could now be in jeopardy due to the ongoing labor dispute.
Negotiations Over Rushed Actions
SSRG suggests that negotiations for improved welfare must be well thought out and articulated, rather than rushed. For instance, implementing infrastructure for compressed natural gas (CNG) usage, one of the demands of organized labor, cannot happen overnight, especially in the absence of existing infrastructure.
Appeal for Wise Counsel
SSRG appeals to organized labor to heed wise counsel and prioritize the well-being of the entire country over political agendas. The organization firmly condemns the Labor Party’s simultaneous release of its statement alongside that of NLC/TUC, seeing it as an attempt to destabilize the nation.
A Call for Peaceful Resolution
In conclusion, SSRG calls for the suspension of the planned strike and a return to the negotiating table with the government. It emphasizes the importance of finding common ground rather than escalating tensions. The organization urges Nigerians to dissociate themselves from actions that could potentially disrupt the nation’s peace and stability.
Joseph Ambakederimo, CONVENER, South-South Reawakening Group (SSRG)/Chairman Board of Trustees Community Development Committees of Niger Delta Oil and Gas Producing Areas (CDC).