We Reject NLC’s Deceptive Move To Take Advantage of Current Fuel Situation – CNG
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) says the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has developed a penchant over the years for mass public deception over issues of serious national importance.
CNG also observes that at every occasion, the NLC would deceive the public into believing they are protecting their interests, only to betray the course, negotiate with government at the expense of the suffering masses.
A signed statement by CNG Spokesperson, AbdulAzeez Suleiman, indicates that, the first instance was the NLC protests over harsh economic policies of the Buhari government in February 2017 which came to an aprupt end without achieving any results and no convincing explanation to the public.
Then came the September 2018 strike which was also terminated after the NLC met with government officials and compromised the effort with no effect.
The worst scenario was the October 2020 organised labour plan to shut down the entire economy in protest over the increase in the pump price of petrol and a hike in electricity tariff.
However, the strike was called off at the last minute after a meeting between government officials and labour leaders in Abuja.
The CNG in particular took exception to the move by labour at that time, describing it as a huge trade off and compromise in its strongly worded letter of October 6, 2021 to President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, expressing disappointment in the labour leadership, for deliberately suspending an action meant to check the arbitrary hike in fuel prices by the Buhari administration.
In the letter, the CNG and 150 other northern affiliate groups warned that the untimely suspension of the strike to demonstrate Nigerians displeasure over hike in fuel and electricity prices by the NLC, was a big blow on Nigerians and would have dire consequences in the future.
CNG and the affiliate northern groups also expressed disappointment that the Labour leaders in their negotiation with the government failed to press for a logical conclusion, but opted for half-witted promises at the expense of the general public.
Now that NLC wants to take the nation for granted once more, we demand that it should first of all explain its whereabouts at the time the budget was prepared, presented, defended by the government of the former president Muhammadu Buhari and passed by the 9th National Assembly without the provision for subsidy.
Otherwise, it will be the peak of self-delusion to think they can hoodwink the public once again into embarking on yet another futile exercise that in the end only benefits the leadership of the NLC who almost all the time sellout every struggle no matter how popular at the slightest of personal offers from government.
We emphatically warn the NLC to note that it can never again take anybody for its usual ride, having stripped itself of every strand of credibility, public trust and confidence.
The CNG also noted that it is amazed by the desperation of the Independent oil marketers who are quick to hike the fuel pump prices by almost five hundred percent within just 12 hours of the announcement of the subsidy removal.
This quick hike and desperation to hoard the commodity is aimed at stocking anger against the new administration by the few who benefit from the trillions of the subsidy sum among the marketers and NNPCL officials.
Having come this far, the CNG feels dutybound to alert the Nigerian public to guard against being dragged unto a flight without knowing its actual destination.
The public should note that by its antecedents of betraying public confidence, the NLC has lost every claim to competence to speak for or act on behalf of the generality of the people beyond servicing the interest of a limited constituency of less than one percent of the total population of Nigerians.
We call on the public to hold the Independent oil marketers responsible for the sudden deterioration of the prices of Petroleum a few hours after the announcement by government on the subsidy.
The CNG also call on the new administration of President Bola Tinubu to handle this obviously dicey situation with utmost wisdom and compassion so that the innocent public is not made victim.
We call the attention of the Tinubu administration to be vigilant over the latent trap set for it with the subsidy issue by the outgone government aiming to set it on a collision course with the public early in the day.
We therefore advise government to deploy maximum wisdom, and caution to chart a workable means of dealing with the bad situation deliberately thrown on its laps in such a way that no one gets hurt.
Government should device compassionate ways of cushioning the impact of the subsidy removal without necessarily compromising its economic recovery policies.
We demand from the Federal Government action to call the syndicate that have siphoned the trillions of Naira of public funds during the previous regime in the name of a fictitious, fraudulent oil subsidy to account.
We call on the Federal Government not to be distracted by the antics of discredited self-serving labour leaders, unscrupulous oil marketers and a few unpatriotic officials of the NNPCL who would seize every opportunity to undermine its good intentions.
As a consequence of this, the Coalition of Northern Groups has convened a meeting of all the 150 affiliate groups and other concerned associations that took the previous decisions of 2020 on NLC deceptions to discuss and come up with a unified position on the current situation on Monday, June 5, 2023 at the Arewa House, Kaduna.