Labour Hails NASS/FED on June1 12 and Emefiele
Organized labour has condemned those calling for unconstitutional regime change adding that Nigerians would resist any attempt to return Nigeria to the discredited past of military dictatorship.
Saying: “With the sixth democratic dispensation around the corner and 20 years of uninterrupted civil rule, Nigeria needs more democracy not less. Indeed the alternative to insufficient democracy is more democracy”.
The labour also hailed what it called “constructive collaboration and engagement” between President Muhammadu Buhari and the outgoing 8th National Assembly in ensuring the renewal of the appointment of Godwin Emefiele as Governor of the Central Bank as well as the prompt passage of the Public Holiday Act Amendment Bill which recognizes June 12 as the new Democracy Day.
President Muhammadu Buhari had nominated Mr Godwin Emefiele for another 5 year tenure as CBN governor and last Thursday at the plenary, the senate passed the amendment in concurrence with the House of Representatives, which approved the new date of June 12th as new Democracy Day earlier in December 2018, following the adoption of a report by Senator Ahmad Lawan, the Majority Leader, for the Senate to concur with the House.
The bill was passed almost one year after President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the date would replace May 29 for Nigerians to commemorate the return to the civilian government.
In a statement at the weekend in Lagos, Comrade Issa Aremu NEC member, NLC and General Secretary of the Textile workers union (NUTGWN) observed that the bipartisan consensus on the twin issues of Emefile’s reappointment and June 12th as the new Democracy Day should be sustained in the resolution of urgent critical national issues such as re-industrialization, inadequate electricity supply, insecurity, human capital development, endemic infrastructural deficits and poverty eradication.
He said the remarkable consensus on the two issues was a “win-win” for Nigeria adding that “where there was the collective will”, there would be collective way for national development adding that both arms of government deserve a praise for the deal.
Comrade Aremu congratulated Dr Godwin Emefiele for what he called “earned and deserved” reappointment.
According to the labour leader, it would go on record that Emefiele as the CBN governor commendably defended the autonomy of the CBN against the neoliberal forces that were pushing for unhelpful floating of Naira with the attendant unhelpful massive devaluation in the wake of the 2017 recession.
He said the relatively stable exchange rate of the recent times had allowed for national planning and business decisions needed for growth and development.
Comrade Aremu however, noted that the most significant achievement of the CBN Governor in the first tenure was development financing which according to him “has revolutionized rice production and is rekindling the hope of revival of cotton production” through cheap long term credit and direct purchase and supply of inputs for farmers.
He called for “deepening of financial inclusion, not less in the entire textile value chains within the context of the Cotton, Textile and Garment policy (CTG)” assuring of the partnership with labour unions in the textile sector to revive industry and create more jobs.
“In the coming years, CBN should be as firm in targeting production, wealth generation and job creation as much as it is targeting inflation. Nigeria is a developing economy that needs an activist CBN which through monetary and development finance policy would make scarce capital available to labour intensive sector such as textile. Nigeria needs a CBN that must deliberately deny smugglers and economic saboteurs funds as Emefiele has commendably done in recent times” Comrade Aremu said.
The labour leader who was also the former LP gubernatorial candidate in Kwara state called on all governors elects to initiate complementary fiscal and industrial policies in partnership with the Federal government and the CBN to revive closed industries and reopen new ones to engage the army of the unemployed adding the expected 425 million Nigeria population in year 2050 must be an asset not a liability.
“The wealth of humans is the wealth of nations in the 21st century, but that is if humans are engaged in value adding activities through full and compelling decent employment ” he added.
On the June 12th, comrade Aremu said the new national consensus on the new Democracy Day has conclusively put a “welcome closure” to what he called “the tragedy” of the annulment of 1993 popular election won by Chief Moshood Abiola. He hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for the declaration as well as honouring the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election, with a posthumous conferment of the highest national award, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic.
The labour leader who attributed the contemporary election riggings, violence and political killings to the 1993 June 12th annulment said with the acknowledgement of the new Democracy Day, Nigeria has exorcised “the specter of impunity, which repeatedly hunts Nigeria’s democratic process.
“Almost three decades after monumental political injustice was inflicted on the country via an annulment of globally adjudged free and fair election; Nigeria can now move from countless political motions to real political movement, in which rigging, ballot snatching and annulment would be damned and votes would be conclusively counted” he wrote.
Comrade Aremu also condemned those who called “reactionary forces with no fixed addresses” calling for unconstitutional regime change adding that Nigerians would resist any attempt to return Nigeria to the discredited past of military dictatorship.
“With the sixth democratic dispensation around the corner and 20 years of uninterrupted civil rule, Nigeria needs more democracy not less. Indeed the alternative to insufficient democracy is more democracy”.
He urged Nigerians to learn from South Africa which he observed in the past 25 years had faced more challenges that necessitated the removal of two incumbent elected, one undergoing corruption trial, yet no South African politician ever contemplated military intervention but just concluded free and fair national and parliamentary elections. “Nigerians must remember that we helped to liberate South Africa.
The latter should not appreciate the virtue of democracy than Nigeria.” he recalled. He called on all Democratic forces to reaffirm faith in democracy adding that in a diverse country like Nigeria, the “redeemable imperfections of democracy” are preferred than “the irredeemable maladies of military dictatorships”.