Scores of women on the platform of Oyo State Market Women Traders Association yesterday sent a passionate appeal to Governor Abiola Ajimobi and the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), begging the parties to resolve the crisis between them.
Addressing reporters at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, the Iyaloja of Ibadanland, Chief Labake Lawal, who led the elderly women, noted that “as concerned mothers, we decided to rise up and meet the feuding parties with pleas to ensure the state return to normalcy”.
Other women leaders, who spoke at the conference, included the leader of Cateen Owners Association, Chief Iya-dunni Lawal; Leader of Pepper Sellers Association Mrs. Mutilade Adedeji, Iyaloja of Bodija Market Alhaja Sikiratu Adebayo; Leader of Hair-dressers in Ibadan Chief Esther Olaleke, Chief Wuraola Asake Diasi and other women leaders.
Mrs. Lawal said it was high time the two parties returned to the negotiation table to safeguard the future of the pupils, whose continued stay at home could hamper their academic performance and future aspirations.
They pleaded with Ajimobi to be father to all stakeholders involved in the labour/government face-off, by forgiving whoever that might have wronged him.
They added that they have engaged the government over the salary issue, saying that the government explained the financial status to them.
The women said with the explanation, they knew that the governor meant well for the welfare of all.
The concerned mothers said the governor reiterated that he was not putting up public secondary schools for sale, contrary to the erroneous impression being peddled about by the opposition.
They added that they were happy that the governor himself said he knew the hardship being faced by his people and would never do anything to aggravate their economic status by imposing unhealthy policy in education or any sector in the state.
They described the agitation by the NLC over salary arrears as justifiable, but urged both parties to reason together and allow peace to reign in the interest of the larger masses.