By Wilson Adekumola
The former Senate leader and incumbent chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Sen Ali Ndume, has urged the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress to engage in dialogue with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the issue of fuel subsidy removal instead of embarking on the planned strike schedule to begin on Wednesday.
Ndume who made this urge in a statement, explained to the Labour leaders that the fuel subsidy removal is something that must be done now, adding it is better Nigerians feel the pains now and feel it no more.
Ndume, the Director-General of Akpabio for Senate President Campaign Organisation, also called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to ensure he eveluate the gains of fuel subsidy removal to Labour leaders.
“This fuel subsidy removal is something we must do now or never,” he noted. “We need to open the wounds now and begin to heal them. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) needs to work with the government and see how the effects can be minimised. If we don’t remove the subsidy now, some people will continue to milk this country. NLC should go to the negotiation table with the Federal Government.”
While appealing to NLC to reverse his decision on planned strike, Ndume said, “The NLC should not go on a strike first before negotiation. They should not make that mistake. Besides, there is no budget for subsidy. Where will the money come from?
“I call on President Tinubu to personally meet with Labour leaders and resolve the issues. He should also assure them that things will be alright.”
Ndume, who is representing Borno South, also disclosed that with the appointment of Senator George Akume, agitation by leaders from the North Central Zone about the non-inclusion of the region in the sharing of the 10th National Assembly leadership positions will become history.
He said President Tinubu has demonstrated that his campaign mantra “Renewed Hope”, has come to stay.
The Senate Committee chairman on Army, said all the appointees so far announced by President Tinubu are senators and a Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Ndume who was confident that Tinubu’s will have a cordial relationship with the National Assembly said, “I want to commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for keeping to his campaign mantra, ‘Renewed Hope’. This is the first time politicians are appointed by a President to head key positions in government. This will be a rancor-free administration. All the appointees so far are grassroots politicians.
“George Akume was a governor, minister, a senator and now the Secretary to Government of the Federation. President Tinubu is a senator. Kashim Shettima is a senator. The First Lady is a senator. Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff to the President is a veteran parliamentarian. Even the Chief of Staff to the Vice President, Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, is a senator too.
“It means there won’t be any reason to have any rancor with the National Assembly. The Executive will be run by former members of the National Assembly, unlike previous governments run by so called technocrats who brought in consultants to steal our money. This is truly democracy at work.
“This has now settled the agitation by stakeholders from North Central. They’ve gotten the lion’s share now. Akume’s appointment has put everything to rest. He will become one of the most powerful people in the government.”