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Resolve minimum wage now to avert violent protest, FG warned

The Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC), on Monday, called on the federal government to avert Kenya-like violent protest in Nigeria by resolving the pending minimum…

The Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC), on Monday, called on the federal government to avert Kenya-like violent protest in Nigeria by resolving the pending minimum wage issue with members of the organised labour.

It also counselled the government to permanently address Kano emirship tussle and the Rivers political crisis before they snowballed to unwanted and unwarranted crises, adding that minimum wage issue had dragged for too long.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees for the Centre, Maj.-Gen. Christopher Olukolade (Rtd), who stated these in Abuja at a press briefing, said the centre had uncovered that such developments have tendencies of snowballing into violence.

Olukolade, a former spokesman of the Nigerian Army, said the federal and state governments as well as the organised private sector should, as a matter of urgency, resolve minimum wage negotiations.

“We have identified potentially violent or volatile developments in the country which we believe could spark off unnecessary crises with far-reaching consequences to our national security if they are not well-managed.

“That’s why I want to identify the ones we can pick on, among many others,” the retired senior military officer said.

He stated: “First in that list is the yet-to-be-resolved minimum wage issue that has pitched the labour movement against the federal government. We do not subscribe to the idea of sweeping this issue under the carpet.

“We, therefore, want to unequivocally call on the government and the organised private sector to summon the required courage to take decision on this matter, and to meet and resolve it once and for all, than to constantly postpone the resolution of this issue.

“So, the time to conclude the negotiation that has lasted so long is now, and the earlier it is done, the better. So we strongly suggest that it should be completed. Let’s take a decision on the nation’s minimum wage as it matters.”

Speaking on the continued violent development in Kenya, Olukolade said the centre also expressed concerns over the antics of those calling for the re-enactment of the anti-tax crisis happening in the country.

He said, “Those who believe that such destructive protests in Nigeria will be a way to resolving a crisis are rather calling for what is not consistent with our future and desire for a peaceful and progressive nation.

“So, we want to caution against such tendencies and advise that the development in Kenya in relation to their protests on tax is not a model for us to adopt in resolving our issues in a democracy, and that the situation in Nigeria can be better managed with good consensus, discussions, and the necessary consultations.

“In other words, we are strongly against the idea of making reference to the Kenya-Nigeria civil model. The outcome of the protests is still fresh in our minds and it’s not a thing to re-enact by any other means”.

He said the political feud in Rivers State has tendencies towards crisis and hence, calling on the parties to act in the general interest of the people.

The communications expert said, “We are using this opportunity to call on those involved to sheath the sword and relate and when they relate, we believe that this could be solved and there’s no need to plunge that state into crisis.

“We don’t want to see a ripple effect of whatever is going on in terms of the altercations at the moment.”

He added that the emirship tussle in Kano had a huge potential for volatility.

“We do not want it to slide into trouble by reason of the Emirship tussle. We cannot combine that with what’s going on in Rivers State. Nigeria’s unity and corporate existence is more important to us than any achievement through fake news and unnecessary sentiments,” he stated.

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