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In Oyo CAN intervenes in govt, NLC row

The association called on both parties to sheathe their swords and return to dialogue with a view to resolving their differences.

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Oyo Chapter, has appealed to striking workers in the state and the government to embrace dialogue in the interest of the state.

This is contained in a statement jointly signed by the Chairman, Pastor Benjamin Akanmu and Secretary, Rev. Segun Babatunde, which was issued to newsmen in Ibadan on Wednesday.

The association called on both parties to sheathe their swords and return to dialogue with a view to resolving their differences.

It urged the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) to look at its demands and see how they could be met by government, urging the union to suggest ways the revenue base of the state could be increased.

``We appeal to our labour leaders in the state to listen to the words of wisdom to allow for mutual dialogue with government that we all put in place through our votes.

``We should be able to allow peace to reign in the state so that our children who are the future leaders will not be made to suffer for too long before the right thing is done.

``Yes, agitation of rights should involve dialogue and not degenerate to this position that both parties had taken. We are making a passionate plea to labour to resolve this matter,’’ it said.

The Christian body in the state called on government to create enabling environment to dialogue with labour and not use their authority to throw both the water and baby away.

It appealed to government to look into the agitations of the labour and facilitate dialogue with them to resolve the issue at once.

``Both parties should understand that the current situation is worrisome and the effect is on the economy of the state.

``We have continued to pray at every available opportunity for normalcy to return between the labour unions and government in the state.

``It is time for all of us to return to God on our knees,’’ the statement said.

NAN reports that the labour unions in the state had, in conjunction with the national headquarters of NLC, on June 6 declared an indefinite strike in the state.

Mr Solomon Adelegan, the union’s National Vice-Chairman, had announced the strike directive after a congress held at the labour secretariat in Ibadan.

Adelegan said that the strike would continue until government withdrew all trumped-up charges levelled against some labour leaders and paid the six months outstanding salaries of workers and pensions.

The union also demanded proper and adequate funding of the education sector, payment of living wages and other incentive for educational workers.

It also said the government should rescind its decision to sell-off public schools.

NAN reports that a peace parley initiated by the Oyo State House of Assembly between the labour leadership and government on June 15 was inconclusive

Mr Waheed Olojede, NLC Chairman in the state had on June 16 told newsmen that government could not meet the terms of agreement with the labour leadership, therefore the strike would continue.

Olojede said that the government did not meet their request on the payment of outstanding salaries.

He disclosed that government had agreed to put on hold the proposed education policy for the setting up of a 14-man committee to be saddled with the responsibility of ratifying the recommendations.

However, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo had appealed to the labour unions in the state to return to the negotiation table in the interest of peace and development.

He made the call on Monday at the government secretariat, Ibadan, while addressing a coalition of trade and professional associations who had thronged the secretariat to show solidarity with the governor.

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