Embarking on strike 9 months into my govt unacceptable – Tinubu tells Labour

Embarking on strike 9 months into my govt unacceptable – Tinubu tells Labour

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday used the opportunity of the inauguration of the Lagos Red Line Rail Project in Ikeja to lambast organised labour uni

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President Bola Tinubu on Thursday used the opportunity of the inauguration of the Lagos Red Line Rail Project in Ikeja to lambast organised labour unions for series of strike actions it had embarked upon since he assumed office on May 29, 2023.

The organised labour had embarked on two strikes in the nine-month-old regime of President Tinubu with the last being on Tuesday when the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) organised peaceful protest marches in Abuja, Lagos and some other cities over the rising cost of living in the country and seeming inaction of the Federal Government to people’s predicament.

The inauguration of the rail project was an avenue for the President to descend on the labour leaders by calling on labour unions to refrain from disruptive actions saying their recent strike actions are unacceptable to his government.

He also reminded the labour leaders that they are not the only known voice  in the country and further advised those interested in elective offices among them to wait till 2027 when there will be another round of elections in the country.

His words: “Some labour unions should understand that no matter how we cling to our freedom and rights, to call for strikes within the first nine months of a new administration is unacceptable.  If you want to directly participate in the electoral process, wait until 2027, if not, maintain the peace. Labour is not the only voice of Nigeria”.

President Tinubu while inaugurating the first phase of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line project, a 37km project expected to reduce travel time and improve transportation and logistics in the state also witnessed the signing of the contract for Phase 2 of the LRMT Red Line project by the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, and the Chairman of CCECC Nigeria Limited, Jason Zhang.

Addressing a gathering of Nigerians at the train station in Ikeja, Tinubu said: “It is my singular pleasure to inaugurate the first phase of the LRMT Red Line to the glory of God Almighty and for the benefit of the people.

“Today, I am seriously honoured that I am a Lagosian and the first to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  My promise is not to let you down. We will arrive at the destination with joy, happiness, and prosperity; God willing”.

Reminiscing on his tenure as the former governor of Lagos State, when the vision of a modern and effective public transportation system in the state was conceived, President Tinubu described the project as a dream realized and a fulfillment of years of hard work and dedication by successive governments.

“I am very happy indeed that today is a day to remember in Nigeria’s infrastructural history, particularly Lagos, the center of excellence. Today is evidence that it is good to dream, and it is a serious validation of democracy as a form of government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

“When you put people at the center of your vision and planning, you will realize the value of democracy.

“Twenty-five years ago, I was elected to lead Nigeria’s most populous state. From the very beginning, my team and I toiled day and night with a very bare cupboard and amidst pervasive deficiency to implement a developmental vision that would transform Lagos into an economic powerhouse. Today, we are realizing that dream.

“The momentum of greatness we kickstarted a quarter of a century ago has become unstoppable progress. It is not a crime to dream and dream big. Just stay focused and make development a central focus,’’ he said.

The President commended the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), the urban transport agency he established over 20 years ago, for its exemplary performance and implored LAMATA to sustain the momentum in completing all other phases of the Red Line project, as well as the full execution of the broader rail blueprint of the state.

He called on Nigerians to embrace change and work towards national progress.

While speaking to newsmen aboard the train during the inaugural ride, President Tinubu assured Nigerians that their lives will only become more enjoyable as modern amenities are built across the entire nation under his progressive leadership.

‘”This is very efficient and comfortable, and I am happy. Our transportation system must be all about the people. We have cut down imports on PMS by almost 50 percent. We need mass transit to complement the daily efforts of citizens and make things easier for our people. And this is what this is all about. It is about the people. It is about democracy. We are happy about it,’’ the President stated.

Earlier in his speech, Governor Sanwo-Olu explained that the first phase of the project, executed by the State Government, spans 37 kilometers and shares the track of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Lagos-Ibadan modernization project from Ebute Metta to Agbado with stations at Oyingbo, Yaba, Mushin, Oshodi, Ikeja, Agege, and Iju.

According to him, phase one of the project will transport 750,000 passengers daily at inception and 1.1 million passengers daily once it is fully operational.