Tinubu New Year broadcast: APC defends FG as Labour warns against failed promises

The organised Labour on Monday said President Bola Tinubu’s administration must not fail to fulfill its promises to Nigerian workers in 2024.

The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, which gave the warning in separate interviews with one of our correspondents in Abuja, said the President must  “walk the talk’’ in the New Year.

The two Labour unions were reacting to the President’s New Year broadcast which the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party described as “a harvest of deceit, false claims and empty promises.’’

But the ruling All Progressives Congress took a swipe at the critics of the President’s speech, particularly the two opposition parties.

The APC Director of Publicity, Bala Ibrahim, in an interview with The PUNCH on Monday, described the statements by the two opposition political parties as an affront to the intelligence of Nigerians.

Reports say that the President in his New Year broadcast to Nigerians on Monday affirmed that Nigerians were frustrated because of the removal of fuel subsidy and naira devaluation.

He said, “I am not oblivious to the expressed and sometimes unexpressed frustrations of my fellow citizens. I know for a fact that some of our compatriots are even asking if this is how our administration wants to renew their hope.

“Over the past seven months of our administration, I have taken some difficult and yet necessary decisions to save our country from fiscal catastrophe. One of those decisions was the removal of fuel subsidy which had become an unsustainable financial burden on our country for more than four decades.”

The President, however, called on Nigerians to be patient with him, adding that his government was working towards solving all issues around the socio-economic situation through his ‘Renewed Hope Agenda.’  He also promised the implementation of a new living minimum wage for Nigerian workers this year.

Unions warn FG

Commenting on the presidential broadcast, the NLC, and the TUC warned the Tinubu administration against failing to fulfill its promises.

They alleged that the Tinubu administration had developed a reputation for breaching promises. They, therefore, advised the government to “walk the talk” in 2024.

The Head of Information, NLC, Benson Upah, and the National Vice-President, TUC, Tommy Etim, stated this in separate interviews with one of our correspondents in Abuja.

 Reacting to the President’s speech, NLC’s Upah, said, “I have been in motion and have only seen the highlights of the speech. Nonetheless, this government in its short life has acquired a reputation for keeping its promises in breach. In light of this, we are sleeping with both eyes open.

The Labour Party similarly accused the President of dishonesty in his address to Nigerians.

The LP National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, in a statement on Monday, described Tinubu’s speech as “an arrogant display of dishonesty, disregard for citizens.”

Ifoh said the LP was appalled by the alleged hollowness of the address.

The opposition party said “If anything, the speech conveyed to Nigerians the high level of hypocrisy, deceit and lack of empathy which has become the guiding principle of the All Progressives Congress administration which Tinubu leads.

“It is depressing to note that the President and his handlers didn’t deem it fit to include a word of comfort for the families of over 200 persons killed by terrorists during the Christmas Eve massacre in Plateau State. What a shame.

“The President’s helplessness in the face of his glaring failure to address the critical issues of insecurity, decayed infrastructure, the collapse of the manufacturing and productive sectors, inflation, and the Naira to Dollar exchange rate which is spiralling out of control is written all over the speech.”

The LP queried how the decision on fuel subsidy removal without a plan to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians could be said to have been taken in the national interest.

But the ruling APC took a swipe at critics of Tinubu’s broadcast. The APC publicity director, Bala, insisted that Tinubu deserved commendations for setting up the Federal Government Appointees’ Monitoring and Evaluation Unit in the Presidency to monitor the performance of officials.

He stated, “I wouldn’t want to say they don’t understand English. But I want to say they are mischievous in understanding the content of the President’s speech. What President Tinubu said was very unmistakable and very clear.

“The President says he feels the yearnings and aspirations of the people. He knows the expectations and the anxiety of the people. And since the last seven months that he assumed office, he has been mapping out strategies that will not certainly make everyone equal, but give everyone equal opportunity.


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