Katsina Coalition urges NLC to shelve 2-day strike

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Some groups and organizations in Katsina state under the name  ‘Coalition of Katsina Groups for National Unity and Integration’, on  Sunday urged the Nigeria Labour Congress ( NLC) to shelve its proposed two-day nationwide strike, insisting that any strike now does not augur well for the “fragile “

peace of Nigeria.

The NLC had through its President, Joe Ajaero, declared in Abuja last week, that  the Labour would go on a 2-day nationwide strike on 27  & 28 February, 2024 , to protest the current hardships in Nigeria.

The  Coalition   however, urged the NLC  national leadership to explore other peaceful means of registering their anger instead of through a nationwide strike.

The Coalition made the declaration in a communique it issued shortly after its members had an interactive session with some youths, women associations and some faith based groups in Katsina on Sunday. 

The Coalition agreed that while it was true that everybody in Nigeria was feeling the heat of current economic hardships,the organised Labour should resolve its issues with Federal Government through dialogue.

The Coalition maintained that the Federal Government had always seen the Organised Labour as partners in the progress of the nation, pointing out that it would want the Labour to continue to embrace dialogue with government until all workers’ demands are met.

The Coalition declared “

Coalition of Katsina Groups for National Unity and Integration, is a Network of non-profit, non-partisan and non-government organizations based in Katsina state. We support Justice, Peace, Democracy and Good Governance. We are also a coalition of protagonists of dialogue, national unity and Integration.

 “As patriotic Nigerian Citizens,we are feeling the heat of the time, including,high cost of living and spate of insecurity.  Notwithstanding,we acknowledge the efforts of the present Federal Government of Nigeria geared towards addressing these challenges through taken short, medium and long term measures, namely disbursement of  the wage award of  the sum of N35,000 to each Federal Government worker, which has been started; the recent Inauguration of the committee on National Minimum Wage;  the formation of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (CNG)  and establishment of Seven  CNG Conversion Centres across the geo political zones of the country as a starting point; cutting frivolous government expenditures, such as reducing estacodes and number of entourage for government officials;  release of 42,000 metric tons of grains among others; we also acknowledge the war against corruption under president Tinubu, with particular reference to suspension of a minister, investigation of Godwin Emiefele, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as other officials of the present and past administrations; worthy of mention is the engagement with various stakeholders, including meetings with the state Governors of which the main agenda is how to tame the rising cost of living and spate of insecurity.

   “It is in light of the foregoing, that we feel that the  upcoming nationwide protests by the N.L.C. is needless. Our viewpoint is that the NLC has not exhausted all the available options for dialogue before calling on street protests. So far the Federal Government has not shown any disdain to the Labour. We have seen how the federal government is engaging the Organized Labour. And, the fact that some steps were taken towards meeting their  demands, shows a high measure semblance of commitment on the part of the FG. Hence we feel that the new administration, deserves to enjoy a benefit of doubt.

   “Realistically speaking, no government on this earth can meet the demands of the N.L C. in 14 days, hence we advise the Organized Labour to shelve their planned nationwide protests. However, we urge them to continue to engage the government using dialogue until their demands are met. Thus, at this critical point in time, let the Organized Labour avoid doing anything that may undermine the existing fragile peace.”

The Coalition also frowned at individuals and groups who it alleged, were making political gains out of the current hardships being experienced by Nigerians.

  “While advocating dialogue,we condemn in strongest term, those groups and individuals, who are making political capital out of the suffering of Nigerians,” the Coalition declared in the communique.

The Coalition further called on concerned stakeholders and other tiers of government to augment the  Federal Government efforts at cushioning the hardships. 

   It (The Coalition) declared ” This coalition is further calling on  government at sub-national levels to augment the efforts of the federal government by rolling out different measures to cushion the hardship among the masses. There are three tiers of government; each of them should work assiduously like the Federal Government, until the situation becomes better. All political office holders, including federal and state lawmakers should come up with intervention in their own wards or constituency towards alleviating the suffering of their people.

        Furthermore, the private sector and the philanthropists should also follow suit.”

The communique was signed by  the Coalition’s Director of Contact and Mobilization, Rilwanu Mukhtar;  Hamza  Saulawa,

( Coordinator) and 

 Bishir Sabuwar -Unguwa Katsina, (Secretary).

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