- Category: National Security
- Published on Wednesday, 04 January 2012 09:22
- Written by Admin
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The NLC, which accused President Jonathan of lying over his claim that organised labour consented to the removal of subsidy on petroleum products, said that a story credited to the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Dr. Reuben Abati, that the labour was in support of subsidy removal, was misleading and an outright ploy by the Presidency to give the matter legitimacy.
In a statement by the NLC President, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar, the congress maintained that it rejected the proposal for the removal of subsidy in its meetings with the Federal Government, adding that labour could not have supported any policy that would impose more hardship on the suffering masses. The statement said, "No one would have believed that the revered office of the President could stoop so low to tell a lie.
"In a bid to defend the Presidency on the misleading and callous imposition of astronomical increase in fuel prices on Nigerians, the Special Adviser on Media to President Jonathan, Dr. Reuben Abati told the media that labour was in support of the subsidy removal. His claim that Labour was consulted and had given support to whatever government does on the issue of removal of subsidy is a blatant lie.
"On Wednesday, January 4, 2012, the NLC and TUC will issue a clear directive on the date for coordinated nationwide general strikes, mass rallies and street protests will commence, and the methodology of the protests."
It explained that the last meeting held with the Federal Government on the subsidy issue was inconclusive and that both parties agreed that another meeting be called at the instance of the Presidency.
According to Omar, the congress published the outcome of the last meeting, which has not been refuted by the Federal Government to this day.
He pointed out that labour had reiterated its opposition to fuel subsidy removal and hikes in the prices of petroleum products, stressing that no amount of blackmail, propaganda or intimidation would deter Nigerians from reclaiming their country.
Concerning the Christopher Kolade Committee on the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, Omar said labour was seeking legal opinion as to the constitutionality of spending public funds without appropriation by the National Assembly.
Omar who described the constitution of a committee headed by the retired Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore, to deliberate with labour as an after thought, praised the doggedness of Lagosians who trooped out yesterday to protest the sudden hike in petroleum prices.
Meanwhile sources close to the labour leadership have told the Daily Times that there is a split within the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress as a faction wants the union's demands to go as far as asking the President to step down over the issue of subsidy removal. (Daily Times