OPINION

TARABA WORKERS STRIKE : A PLEA FOR DIALOGUE

By Abdullahi Mahmud

Recently, workers in Taraba State have embarked on an industrial action to press home their demands for the payment of the minimum wage and related welfare benefits. While it is well within their rights to advocate for improved conditions of life and living, we think that caution must not be thrown to the wind in such a way that the state would not be thrown into even more dire straits in the process.

Being one of the less resourced states in the country at the moment, it is evident that Taraba cannot afford to give out what it does not have. And even as government continues to find more and more ways of boosting the stat’s resources, it is most important that it also does everything possible to live within its current means so that it does not leave an undesirable legacy for future generations of Taraba people.

As everyone knows, this is also a time of unprecedented strain within and beyond the country. It is therefore a time when all men and women of goodwill, the workers of Taraba inclusive, should rally round the governor to ensure that we hold back and prevent the unwanted enemy from getting an inroad into our doorsteps.

A situation where the core of economic activities in the state is encouraged to grind to a halt is clearly not the best way to advance our demands. Rather we need to sit down and dispassionately analyse the situation with a view to finding solutions that would give us the desired results that we want to see.

Indeed, this becomes even more urgent when it is considered that the Governor of Taraba State at this most auspices time is a gentleman and patriot in all respects; a servant leader who is devoted and committed to the best interests of the people of the state.

Governor Darius Ishaku is one that will not spare anything to ensure that he gets the best for the people of the state. He is that devoted. And committed too.

Again, even as we push our different positions in the current circumstance, we should also not be unmindful of the fact that there are also bigger issues at stake in the current Nigerian firmament. This is one more reason to ensure that basic peace and tranquility is maintained in the state so that we can have the right atmosphere to promote the welfare, security and best interests of all of our people.

Similarly, it is also important that everyone be reminded of the fundamental truism that the best governance is achieved in any society when the dividends of democracy are spread as far and wide enough to be able to reach more and more of the vast majority of the people. This is one factor that we cannot discountenance and it is therefore incumbent on a listening and compassionate governor like Darius Ishaku to ensure that literally everyone: the elite, the working class, the farmers, artisans and other sectors of the economy and society are basically catered for in terms of resource distribution in the state. To permit a situation where resources are not evenly spread is not wholesome and a man of justice and fairness as Governor Ishaku would not want to be seen as being associated with such.

We therefore think that the striking workers should at this point reciprocate the commitment and sense of duty already displayed by the administration and proceed to call off the strike while dialogue between both parties continues. The greater good of all of the people of Taraba state should be paramount in all that we do. I so plead.

Mahmud is a concerned citizen of Taraba State based in Gembu

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