By FUNMI KOMOLAFE
It was a glorious entry for Acting President Goodluck Jonathan as thousands of workers cheered him as he drove into the Eagle Square at about 10.40 am yesterday.
Despite the strike threat by the Association of Senior Civil Servants, workers cheered the acting presidentÂ through out theÂ May Day programme held at Eagles Square Abuja.
But presidents of theÂ NigeriaÂ Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, Comrades Abdulwaheed Omar and Peter Esele respectivelyÂ reflected on Nigeria at 50Â blaming the countries underdevelopment on a failed political leadership.
Ag. President Jonathan said he believes that the countryâ€™s resources are for all Nigerians and should be used for the benefit of all.
The NLC used the occassion of May Day to reiterateÂ its opposition to increase in the prices of petroleum products under any disguise.Â Comrade Omar said:Â â€œour stand is that government cannot deregulate until certain conditions are metâ€. One of which he said is that local refineries must be made to work.
On politics, Omar said, for Nigeria to reverse the â€œ current slide of the country into cynicism and despairâ€,Â Â the orientation of political leaders must change.
â€œ The second has to do with political reforms.Â The third is caging the evils of corruption.Â The fourth is taking measuresÂ to halt the slide of the country into anarchy and possibly , yet another civil warâ€.
On deregulation, the NLC president listed NLC â€˜s conditions .â€ One of these conditions is that the refineries must be in good order. Another is that all crude oil consumed in Nigeria mustÂ be refined in Nigeria rather thanÂ refined abroad and imported into Nigeria.Â We have also questioned the figures on subsidy provided by government to justify dereguationâ€.
Omar saidÂ though theÂ labour movment has faced serious challenges includinging an attempt to proscribe the NLC, â€œ we have grown stronger rather than weakerâ€.