In a remarkable display of empathy and solidarity, Rt Hon. Elvert Ayambem, Speaker of Cross River State, reaches out to protesters from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC). He promises to address their concerns regarding the recent surge in fuel prices and vows to engage with Governor Bassey Otu to find a resolution to the pressing matter.
Amidst the backdrop of escalating economic challenges, members of NLC, TUC, and affiliated unions took to the streets of Calabar in a protest against the skyrocketing fuel prices. On Wednesday, the protesters gathered at the Assembly Complex, where Speaker Ayambem addressed them in a bid to quell tensions and assure them of the government’s intention to address their grievances.
Speaker Ayambem’s heartening words echoed a shared understanding of the hardships faced by the people. He emphasized that the government’s stance is not against the labor union’s cause but rather a reflection of a collective responsibility to address the challenges stemming from the fuel price increase. He acknowledged that the effects of subsidy removal and rising electricity tariffs are felt by all, bridging the gap between the government and the protesters.
Ayambem conveyed his commitment to strike a balance between the interests of both sides, advocating for a middle ground that acknowledges the concerns of the protesters while considering the government’s perspective. He assured the crowd that their voices have been heard and that measures would be taken to alleviate their suffering.
“I am never against what you people are doing. It is only an insane person that would be against labor Union. You don’t buy from different market. We all buy from the same market. What is biting you is biting us. Where it’s itching you is equally itching us. I share in your pain, that if subsidy is removed let the application be done on your salaries and wages.”
The Speaker’s conciliatory tone and dedication to finding common ground underscore a significant step towards open dialogue between the government and the protesting workers. As tensions ease and discussions progress, all eyes remain on the outcome of these negotiations, as the people of Cross River State anticipate a more equitable resolution to their economic concerns.