NLC strike, electricity tariff

Says debate should be on solution to insecurity, unemployment, others

By Victor Ahiuma-Young & Johnbosco Agbakwuru

Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, said yesterday that the ongoing fight between the Southern and Northern governors on which zone should produce the next president in 2023 was worsening insecurity in the country and heating up the polity.

According to NLC, the fight is an utter disregard for the predicament and sufferings of ordinary Nigerians and workers struggling with pains of broken politics and governance dysfunction in Nigeria.

NLC said it was sad and unfortunate that Nigerian politicians find the time and nerve to discuss 2023 when 2021 presents a foreboding cloud of insecurity, social tension and general despondency manifest in the nation’s empty kitchens, unsafe streets and overflowing Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camps.

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Welcoming guests and participants at the 2021 NLC Roundtable on Social Protection Cover, with the theme, ‘’Expanding Social Protection Cover and Ensuring Effective Implementation in Nigeria,’’ President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, warned that 2023 must not be used by the political class as an excuse to unleash fresh dimension of intractable security crises in Nigeria.

He said:  “I wish to send a note of caution to some members of Nigeria’s political elites who are already overheating the polity on the 2023 general election. A few weeks ago, precisely on July 5, 2021, the Southern Governors Forum met in Lagos and demanded that power must go to the South in 2023.

‘’Just  last Monday, September 27, the Northern Governors Forum met in Kaduna and made a counter demand that power must remain in the North.

“As a national institution and a pan-Nigerian organization, the Nigeria Labour Congress expresses shock at such statements from both the northern and southern political hemispheres of our country.

‘’It is, indeed, sad and unfortunate that our politicians find the time and nerve to discuss 2023 when 2021 presents a foreboding cloud of insecurity, social tensions and general despondency manifest in our empty kitchens, unsafe streets and overflowing IDP Camps.

‘’The 2023 elections must not be used as an excuse to unleash fresh dimensions of intractable and internecine security crises in Nigeria. Therefore, it is important that the political class must mind what they say. Suffice it to say that visionary leaders think of the next generation while dysfunctional leaders think of the next elections.

‘’In summary, we demand a new social contract, including universal social protection cover from Nigeria’s political class.”

In his remarks, speaker of the House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila, said “any politician that does not have the interest of workers at heart is on the wrong side.’’

He said social protection was one of the key responsibilities of the government, adding that this had a connection with food, security, living wage employment, general welfare of the citizens.

On social protection, the NLC President said: “We hope to glean from the perspectives of experts and stakeholders in the fields of pension administration, social insurance, mortgage banking, health insurance, industrial training and other aspects of social protection on how best to strengthen regulatory governance.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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