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Oil Subsidy: FGN Adopts Blackmail As Meeting Ends In Deadlock

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NLC MEETING, MARK, ESELE AND OMAR

The scheduled meeting between the organized labor and the federal government of Nigeria ended in a deadlock following 3hours of closed door discussions on Saturday January 14, 2012 in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. The meeting ended unceremoniously few minutes to 12midnight and saw the slim window of opportunity to avert the possible breakdown of law and order in Nigeria close shut.

The entire cabinet members of the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebelemi Jonathan and seven other select State governors were present for the meeting – which also saw eighteen [18] members of organized labor in attendance. President Jonathan was not in attendance.

According to firsthand information gathered by 247ureports.com, the meeting ended abruptly due to the new tactics adopted by the representative of the federal government of Nigeria [FGN] towards organized labor during the said negotiation. The representative of the FGN during the talks told the representatives of organized labor that the FGN has the luxury of holding them on treasonable offenses if they decide to hold their grounds to the N65 per liter demand or nothing. The labor leaders were also threatened that it is possible for the FGN to hold them responsible for the killings and damage to properties that occurred during the 5-day protest across the country.

The tone and demeanor of the FGN representatives were said to have taken a new face. The negotiations were said to be one-directional – with the FGN dictating to the representatives of labor. But 247ureports.com gathered that the labor representative remained calm and collected and were able to discard the threat – to lay their claims on the table – adding that the workers on the oil rigs are in-line to down their tools pending the outcome of the talks.

The talks immediately took on another turn. The data and figures pointing to the need to remove the oil subsidy began to make its way onto to the tables – as the Oil Minister managed to make the point that it was necessary to stick with the N140 per liter price marker. She was brute and dictatorial in her presentation. She implied ignorance on the part of the labor representatives – while accusing them of instigating unrest. The same notion was espoused by the finance minister and the other representatives.

The mood of the meeting became charged and turned into a slight shouting match between the two parties. The secretary to the federal government cleared the air – and told the labor representatives that no further compromise can be reached beyond what was reached on Thursday – that the President will have to be briefed before further compromise/shifting can be made.

To this, the labor representatives called it quits. But the secretary to the federal government, Anyim sought confirmation that organized labor would hold-off on shutting the oil rigs till the President is briefed. Organized labor gave him till Sunday.

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