By Victor Ahiuma-Young
THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday advised the Federal Government led by President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua against withholding the local government allocation to Lagos State or any act that could hinder the payment of salaries to workers in the state.
Chairman of the State Council of the NLC, Comrade Michael Alogba, said any attempt to inflict hardship on the workers of the state through the alleged moves to withhold the state council funds would not be accepted.
Alogba said it was surprising that the government that immediately ordered the release of withheld council funds under the immediate past government would in not less than two years turned around, threatening Lagos State government.
He advised the government not to take the law in its hand, but to go to the court and seek redress if it thinks the state government had done wrong in conducting election in the local council development areas as the court is there to interpret what is wrong or right.
According to him: â€œWe want to tell the Federal Government headed by President Musa Yarâ€™Adua not to play too much politics with the issue of local government creation in the state. We recall that it was the same President Yarâ€™Adua few days after taking over as the Head of State and Commander in-Chief, came to Lagos and ordered the immediate release of the council funds seized by the then Obasanjoâ€™s government in spite of the Supreme Court ruling.
We want to ask: what has happened in just two years that the President was said to have written to the Lagos State government, threatening to once again cease the council funds? We want to advise the President not to play too much politics with the creation of local government in the state. If the Federal Government believes the state government has done anything wrong, it should go to court. We are in a constitutional government that is governs by the rule of law.â€
â€œOn our part as organised labour, we will not tolerate anything that will make our members in the local government not to receive their salaries at the end of the end. Employees of the Local government, primary and secondary school teachers, nurses and others are our members.
We want to plea that nothing should be done to inflict injuries on these category of workers because as the saying goes, an injury to one, is an injury to other. Any attempt or action that could result to our members and workers in the state not receiving the monthly wages would fought to a logical conclusion.â€