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Makinde: I told Ajaero this isn’t time for propaganda | States paying wage awards

Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo, says it is not true that no state in the country is paying the wage awards to workers contrary to claims by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

On February 16, the NLC declared a two-day nationwide mass protest for February 27 and 28, over the failure of the government to implement the agreement with the workers.

Makinde spoke on Tuesday while addressing members of the NLC and other protesters who converged on the Total Garden roundabout in Ibadan, the state capital.

Makinde, who is also the vice chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), called for calm, stating that the difficult times being experienced by Nigerians will soon pass.

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“My message to the protesters and people of Oyo State is to simply let them know that this is a trying period for our country,” Sulaimon Olanrewaju, Makinde’s spokesman, quoted him as saying in a statement.

“It is not the time for divisive activities. We have to pull together and confront the challenges that we are faced with. 

“Usually, when you are going through a period where you are trying to reform a system, there will be challenges.

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“We saw it in 1989 during the Structural Adjustment Programme. We had riots but, at the end of the day, we still all came together to solve our problem.

“I told the NLC president that this is not the time for lies and propaganda. No one can say that no state is paying wage awards, as we have been paying it to our workers and pensioners since October 2023.

“Even, I have extended it by another six months to give us the opportunity to sit down and negotiate the minimum wage and the adjustment that will come with it.”

The governor assured the protesters that he would deliver their message to President Bola Tinubu.

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“So, I have appealed to them though I know that this protest is their right. I will pass the letter they gave to me to the President,” he said. 

“I know there is hunger and anger in the land, but the solution is still for us to pull together,” he said.

The presidency had described the ongoing protests as needless.

Ajuri Ngelale, special adviser to Tinubu on media and publicity,  said the federal government is doing everything possible to ameliorate the hardship in the land.

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