The saga continues

NLC President Abdul waheed Omar

Fresh reports indicate that labour may be waiting for President Goodluck Jonathan’s broadcast before announcing a major decision about the strike.If Jonathan makes significant pronouncements, the strike may be suspended, a source claimed this morning.A labour insider confided in Newsdiaryonline even before an official briefing that “President Jonathan has yet to read the broadcast, so labour has asked our members to sit at home today.No protest and no rallies.”

The source further revealed that “Labour has also fixed another meeting by 10am (today) with the hope that president Jonathan will make the broadcast and Labour can then review and suspend the strike action’’

Abdul waheed Omar confirmed that Labour as resolved to go ahead with the strike but he said there will be no street protests on Monday.He urged Nigerians to sit at home.He said President Goodluck Jonathan raised security issues among others during their meeting Sunday night.Going by the words of the insider, labour may call off the strike if President Jonathan announces significant measures in the much expected broadcast.

But the reaction of the protesting Nigerians to any pronouncements henceforth may determine whether the crisis will indeed end soon or not.

Meanwhile ,President Goodluck Jonathan has given approval for a probe of payments made with respect to fraudulent petroleum subsidy claims. A statement by Mrs Diezani Allison -Madueke, the petroleum resources minister Sunday night said, “With Presidential approval, I have written to invite the EFCC to immediately review all payments made in respect of subsidies on PMS and kerosene and to take all necessary steps to prosecute any incidence of malfeasance, fraud, over-invoicing, and related illegalities in an open and transparent manner;

She added that “ I have set up a unit within my office to be headed by an independent auditor to review the KPMG and other audit reports on NNPC and other Parastatals, and immediately begin implementation of their findings, ensuring, at all times, full probity and value for money

This statement came amid a flurry of meetings Sunday night at the Presidential Villa .President Goodluck Jonahan ,leaders of the National Assembly some governors and ministers met.Governor Rotimi Amaechi said the meeting was to report the outcome of their talks with labour unions to the president.

At 9.30pm, the president also met with labour leaders and about an hour later, the leaders emerged and said they would proceed to have yet another meeting after which a statement would be released.But a labour insider told Newsdiaryonline after midnight that there was really no substantial update.”What is important is that the strike will go on”.

The significance of Diezani’s statement is that government has chosen to look into allegations of fraud in the subsidy payments.Whether the regime will also go far enough in the probe remains to be seen.

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