By Jeremiah Urowayino
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on world leaders to take strong steps in stamping out racism on the streets and workplaces.
NLC in a statement signed by its President Mr Ayuba Wabba on Wednesday in Abuja said, “The congress identify with the global ‘Black Lives Matter’ anti-racism protests going on in different parts of the world”.
Recall that Mr George Floyd, an African American’s life was brutally snuffed out by Derek Chauvin, a police officer, in cohort with three other police officers on the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
“We condemn the institutionalised racial profiling of black people in America, Europe, Asia and all over the world.
“We condemn the dehumanization of black people through colour profiling, racial discrimination, human trafficking, slave labour and sexual exploitation.
“We demand that world governments and institutions must take very strong and stern steps to stamp out racism in all its shades on the streets, in the workplace, and on play grounds.
“The manifestation of racism anywhere on the planet is a severe mockery to civilization, globalization and development.
“We expect African countries to take the lead in the campaign to stop the dehumanization of black people. The near silence of African leaders and institutions on the murder of George Floyd is worrying.
“It is against our culture for outsiders to cry more than the bereaved. Beyond grief, African leaders must also exemplify the fact that “Black Lives Matter,” he said.
Wabba said that African governments must treat their citizens right through good governance and accountable leadership.
“Every boot on the neck of Africans – black, coloured or white – must be taken off,” he said.
The NLC president demanded justice on Floyd’s killing and the extrajudicial killing of other African Americans.
Wabba, however, said that police must deconstruct the institutionalized demonization of protests and protesters.
“Now is the time to demonstrate that black lives truly matter by ending all the wars, ethnic conflicts, terrorism and criminalities that keep killing, maiming and impoverishing fellow Africans.
“Ultimately, we can show the world that we are serious about “Black Lives Matter” by working hard to increase the life expectancy of the average African,” he said.
Wabba said that the congress stand in solidarity with the American Federation of Labour Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO).
He also said that the congress stand with all the working people of America who have condemned and are protesting against the institutional brutality in the United States and anywhere else on the planet.
The NLC president said that the congress also share in their pain and loss especially as occasioned by the torching of the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington DC, just a few steps away from the White House.
“It is heartwarming that the criminality of a few misguided elements who have turned a genuine struggle for rights into an opportunity for looting has not dampened the commitment of the largest trade union centre in the United States to the great social campaign for civil rights and liberties.
‘We commend all people of goodwill and conscience from all races who have identified in one way or the other with the ‘”Black Lives Matter,” he said.
Wabba said that the congress expected that all the efforts invested in the struggle would yield fundamental reforms of law enforcement institutions in the USA.