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  • News - North Central - FCT
  • Updated: November 19, 2023

NLC: Ajaero says President Tinubu is dialogue-oriented, shares concerns about judiciary

NLC: Ajaero says President Tinubu is dialogue-oriented, shar

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, has stated that while Bola Tinubu is a proponent of dialogue, troubling indicators are emerging from the judiciary. 

In an interview with Vanguard, Ajaero claimed that despite President Bola Tinubu's leadership style, his government is beset by the mishandling of the legal system and uncertainty over labour issues.

Despite President Bola Tinubu's appreciation of discussion and compromise, Ajaero said that his administration is confused about how to handle labour-related matters.

He said that there are alarming indications regarding the use of courts by the Nigerian government and the police's obligation to defend protesters.

Ajaero said, “President Bola Tinubu is a leader who believes in dialogue and negotiations and is capable of give-and-take. 

"But the Bola Tinubu government is another story. There is a lot of confusion in the administration on who handles Labour matters.

“Over the years, right from the regime of Obasanjo, Labour affairs rested on the shoulders of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Labour Minister. 

"When Yar’ Adua came, it was Babagana Kingibe, the SGF. When Jonathan was President, it was Anyim Pius Anyim. And during Buhari’s presidency, it was Boss Mustapha. I don’t know the system of engagement that the Tinubu government is evolving.

“The Minister of Labour in the Tinubu government is not there. Apart from an introductory meeting in his office, he does not call the shots. The Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, calls the shots. 

"Meetings take place in his office. He is a personal staff of Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He was not among the people the National Assembly cleared. Therefore, whatever he signs off on is strictly for his principal, not for the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“The second worrying signal is the use of courts. Only in this administration that any time we serve notice of strike or protest, a competent court warns us not to proceed. 

"An Appeal Court ruling has affirmed that protests are allowed worldwide. The police have to protect protesters. The court gives the order to precede negotiations so that the negotiators will be under duress. These two or three areas are worrying signals. And they have destroyed the courts. 

"The Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong, is a lawyer. He should know that the right to strike is an inalienable one. The Nigerian government must learn to allow the sanctity of agreements to prevail. These are some of the challenges we are having in our democratic dispensation.“

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