By Victor Young
Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has pleaded with governments at all levels of government to lessen workers’ pains over the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring job security and payment of full salaries.
President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, in a message to mark the Eid-el-Fitr celebration, contended that the Ramadan holiday was not the time to arbitrarily cut salaries of workers or deny workers’ their means of livelihood.
The statement read in part: “The restrictions and inconveniences imposed by the novel coronavirus has made the observation of this year’s Ramadan far more tasking and indeed more spiritually rewarding for all Muslims.
“Your perseverance through the fasting period is a shining embodiment of the spirit of Eid. Eid-el-Fitr is a very significant event in the life of every Muslim chiefly because of the virtues it exemplifies.
“Eid-el-Fitr teaches denial, dedication, discipline, diligence, love and sharing.
“Eid-el-Fitr is also a time of stock-taking as Muslims use the period of the Ramadan fasting to take an objective assessment of their areas of strength and weakness. The strengths are consolidated, while the weaknesses are strengthened.
“Eid-el-fitr reinforces the lessons of COVID-19. The need to love and to share has never been as profoundly communicated as during the current global fight against COVID-19. There is no better time to share with those who do not have, especially the destitute in our midst.
“This year’s Eid-el-Fitr also echoes the message of hope which inspires all of us that though the night of COVID-19 might be long, but the rays of the dawn of Allah’s benevolent mercies would soon arrive to compensate for all the current troubles. We can only keep faith alive.
“We urge every Nigerian Muslim and all citizens to fully imbibe the virtues of Eid-el-Fitr.
“Nigerian workers have demonstrated a strong affinity to the values of Eid-el-Fitr by soldiering on in self-denial, dedication, and diligence as front line workers against COVID-19 pandemic.
“Government at all levels and employers can make workers’ load lighter by ensuring the security of jobs, income and livelihood.
“The Ramadan holiday is not the time to arbitrarily cut down the salaries of workers or deny workers their means of livelihood.
“It is also important to stress that we must all rise to the existential challenges thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic. We must take personal responsibilities for our own health, especially through abiding by extant public health regulations.
“The leadership of Congress appreciates all Muslims for praying for Nigeria during this year’s Ramadan, especially in the face of the deadly novel coronavirus disease. As we navigate our way through the COVID-19 cauldron, we urge all Nigerians to intensify prayers for national peace and safety.
“We all must also renew our commitment to contributing our quota to ensure a stable, inclusive and resilient Nigerian society. It is our prayer that by next year’s Eid, the troubles of the current COVID-19 would have paled into history.”