•You’re insensitive to plight of Nigerians, ex-VP’s group replies
Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has accused former vice president, Atiku Abubakar and some governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of instigating labour to frustrate the efforts of government at pushing on with reforms in the petroleum industry.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, NYCN President, Solomon Adodo, described the mode of agitation and tactics deployed by labour as antiquated and sad.
However, dismissing the allegations by the NYCN as baseless, the All Atiku Support Groups (AASG), described the youth council as insensitive to the plight of Nigerian.
In a statement by Oladimeji Fabiyi, the Atiku group said it was disappointing that those who were supposed to champion the cause of the youths were the ones adopting cheap blackmail as a diversionary tactics to market an unpopular policy.
According to Adodo, “the call to mass action and strikes by the labour unions is evidently triggered by political motives rather than championing the cause of the average citizen. This is no more an agitation for the improved welfare of the masses, but a serious attempt to subvert the government for political purposes.
“The order by the NLC and TUC for the Federal Government to revise the price of premium motor spirit (PMS) and revert to the old subsidy regime is not only out of sync with the pricing realities of the product under discussion, but also falls below par in our current economic logic.
“Truth is that when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, announced that subsidy was gone forever, NLC and TUC were probably on COVID-19 lockdown, but certainly not asleep or dead.
“We also advise our father Atiku Abubakar and all other opposition political leaders to partner with and support the Nigerian government to build a great nation at this trying time in our nation’s odyssey,” NYCN said.
Responding, the Atiku group said it was rather unfortunate that a group, which claimed to be a youth organisation could not see beyond its nose that the policies and actions of government were almost crippling the whole nation and that poverty was starring most Nigerians in the face.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku Abubakar has no business with the decisions of NLC and TUC to embark on any strike action. The organised labour does not need any motivation to discharge its responsibilities to Nigerian workers.
“The current reality facing Nigerians is more than enough drive to propel labour into action. Atiku Abubakar is not needed to move them to action. It is disappointing that those who are supposed to champion the cause of the youth are the ones adopting cheap blackmail as a diversionary tactics to market an unpopular policy instead of advancing better strategies by advising their sponsors to put a human face to the implementation of policies that are compromising the interest of Nigerians.
“NYCN should check out the number, quality, character and passion of youths who revere Atiku Abubakar because of the programmes he has for them and the thousands of youths he has pulled out of poverty and empowered over the decades.
“Youths who relate with Atiku Abubakar have never and will never be used to embark on a mission to sale their birth right for a mere porridge. Nigerians are advised to discountenance the mischief of NYCN as its statement is the voice of Jacob and hand of Esau.”