Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, responded to the criticisms and reactions due to the suspended labour strike to protest the recent increase in fuel price and electricity tariff.
He said the critics were offended as they wanted to take advantage of the strike by the labour union to unleash anarchy on the land.
The presidential spokesman disclosed this in a statement titled ‘Beware of People Smarting from Suspended Labour Strike for Selfish Reasons -Presidency’ that some people had intended to use the suspended strike as an opportunity to take a pound of flesh, which they calculated would weaken the government, and influence the 2023 elections.
He commended the organized labour unions for putting the country first by suspending the action. He also urged Nigerians to be careful of those he claimed are sponsoring and encouraging discord and anarchy for selfish reasons. He said that these people were seeking to avenge perceived injuries. He described those who fall under the category as ‘enemies of the country’.
The statement read, ‘Since organised labour toed the path of sense and sensibility last week, seeing reason with the imperatives of fuel price adjustment, and opening a further window of dialogue on the service based electricity tariff, some groups of Nigerians have been dolorous, disgruntled, and disconsolate.’
‘They had apparently perfected plans to use the strike by the labour unions as smokescreen to unleash anarchy on the land, formenting mayhem and civil disobedience. But the plan blew up in their faces, and they have been in severe pains since then. They have launched series of tirades against organized labour.’
‘For some interest groups, their intention was to use the umbrella of the strike to further their whimsical and pie-in-the-sky dream of a revolution in the country. It went bust in their faces.’
‘For some others, Bitter-Enders, who have remained entrenched in pre-2015 and 2019 elections mode, it was opportunity to avenge the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protests, which they believe largely devalued the government of the day, and led to its eventual ouster in 2015.’
‘The strike that was to have come up last week, they wanted to use as opportunity for a pound of flesh, which they calculated would weaken the government so much, and influence the 2023 elections. For them, it was all about hanker for power, its trappings and appurtenances. Nothing about love of country. They have since then been calling organised labour all sorts of names, claiming they deceived Nigerians.’
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‘The times in which we live-with severe security, economic and social challenges-call for all hands to be on deck, and goodwill and support for government, as it strives to put the nation on an even keel. We commend organised labour for putting the country first.’
‘Those sponsoring and encouraging discord and anarchy, either for selfish ends, or as revenge for perceived injuries, are enemies of the country. Nigerians are urged to beware of them, as the Muhammadu Buhari government is only interested in engendering better quality of life for the citizenry. Nothing more.’