By Michael Eboh
Young Progressives Party, YPP, Wednesday , commended the Federal Government for its decision on the new minimum wage for workers, while it advocated a unified amount of N30, 000 across the board for both Federal and state government workers.
In his address on the state of the nation in Abuja, Chairman of the YPP, Comrade Bishop Amakiri, said the review of the minimum wage was long overdue considering the rising poverty level in the country and unfavorable economic policies.
He said, “The new minimum wage of N27, 000 for states and the private sector and N30,000 for the Federal Government is a welcome development and the government should be commended even though it is coming a bit too late considering the high level of poverty caused by several failed economic policies of this government.
“The double digit inflation in almost four years without commensurate increment in salaries shows how much Nigerian workers have persevered.
“Even though we are compelled to believe the labour movement may have been compromised, we still want to support their legitimate agitation that the new minimum wage should be N30,000 across board, while calling on the National Assembly to give speedy passage to the bill on new minimum wage that will be presented.”
Furthermore, commenting on the letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Amakiri stated that the YPP’s position was that Nigerians should be concerned and pay attention to the message and not the messenger.
According to him, this was especially considering the former president’s sordid past as a leader with the best opportunity to have laid a solid foundation for the country but frittered the chance on the altar of personal ambition.
“This does not however invalidate the fact that he is one of the most informed Nigerians and on the strength of this should be taken seriously especially when most of the desperate actions taken by this government such as the hasty arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen before the Code of Conduct Tribunal few weeks to the general elections seems to corroborate his allegations,” He insisted.
Amakiri described as mischievous, recent allegation by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that the opposition is mobilising armed bandits and Boko Haram insurgents to perpetrate massive acts of violence across the country during the general elections.
He said, “Playing to the gallery in matters of urgent national security just like the APC-led government is doing is the highest level of irresponsibility by a government whose primary purpose is to protect lives and property.
“The fact that the APC government is raising alarm rather than acting on the intelligence at its disposal as claimed by Lai Muhammed, clearly shows a disconnect and that there is something sinister being planned by same.
“If the government indeed has credible Intel or evidence against opposition leaders planning to disrupt the electoral process, arrest cum prosecution and not hasty press conference should have been the ideal course of action.
“With a benefit of hindsight into the shenanigans of the APC, we are calling on all Nigerians to please resist any plan to postpone the general elections or arrest opposition leaders based on trump up charges.”
The party chairman further called on the APC and PDP to focus on issue-based campaign rather than overheating the polity with accusations and counter accusations on who can or cannot enter the United States of America or who is mobilizing the Boko Haram insurgents assumed to have been technically defeated to scuttle the electoral process.
“The state of the nation as it borders on security, economy, unemployment and poverty should be the focal point of the 2019 campaign and comparative statistics have shown that both the APC and PDP have failed Nigerians and should never again be trusted with leadership.”