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This Is Not Nigeria Of Our Dream - Labour
At independence in 1960, they said the expectations were very high because of Nigeria’s enormous human, materials and natural resources, but regretted that the inept political class has destroyed those dreams and made the country one of the poorest nations in the world.
However, President Goodluck Jonathan is confident that the nation will overcome the numerous challenges it is facing currently, calling Nigerians to work together to create a country where the rule of law is sacrosanct in order to banish corruption and attendant vices.
In his address to the nation on the occasion of the 51st Independence Anniversary, he observed that Nigerians were resilient, as their spirit could not be broken and were determined to chart a course through the turbulent waters of nation building.
“Together, we shall work for a Nigeria in which democracy and the rule of law are sacrosanct, a country where corruption and its attendant vices, are banished. A country where human life is sacred and respected, and where the rights of the individuals are protected,” he said.
The President noted that the journey to nationhood has always had its own challenges, saying that “Nigeria has had her own share. Our growing pains as a nation have included the civil war, the June 12 election crisis and restlessness in the Niger Delta. But Nigeria has always overcome each of these challenges. We overcame before. We will overcome yet again.”
But labour declared that there was nothing definite to celebrate, as the Nigerian workers and the people generally had been subjected to untoward hardship.
“The pervasive harsh economic Nigerians are being punished with cannot suggest any celebration,” Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Deputy President, Comrade Promise Adewusi, told Saturday Tribune.
He said the last 51 years had been a period of deficit and ineffective political leadership, adding that for workers and the Nigerian people, living had become a sin induced by poverty occasioned by inept political leadership.
The NLC deputy president described the N18, 000 national minimum wage as a mere starvation wage, which had become an albatross to fraudulent political leadership who siphoned away the nation’s wealth.
Comrade Adewusi said; “This definitely is not the Nigeria of our dream. Poverty has become a way of life in Nigeria and poverty of governance has become Nigeria’s contribution to World Order. For the working people and the everyday people, living has become a sin induced by poverty occasioned by inept political leadership in the midst of abundant resources.”
Also, the Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Comrade John Kolawole, said workers had not seen any changes in their fortunes even as Nigeria celebrated 51 years as a free nation.
“Nigerian workers have not seen any physical change despite the efforts made by government through the minimum wage at the Federal level and in some states. The reasons for this are two. On the human side, there are a lot of dependants that a worker has to care for, children that have no jobs, relations that are very poor and so many problems they have to face domestically and socially,” Comrade Kolawole said.
In the meantime, the NLC has called on the ruling elite to have a re-think and lead the country on the path of progress and development, saying Nigerians will never give up.
The congress also regretted that it was a sad reflection “on our national life and history that on the 51st anniversary of our flag independence, the official celebration has to be low key given the state of insecurity in the country.”
In a statement to mark the 51st Independence Day, and signed by the NLC President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Ibrahim Omar, the NLC described Nigerians as courageous and selfless people that could overcome any form of challenges, either by bombers of public places or bombers of our economy and collective wealth.
In the statement entitled: “Nigerians are a courageous and selfless people;” Comrade Omar said: “It is a sad reflection on our national life and history that on the 51st anniversary of our independence, the official celebration has to be low key, given the state of insecurity in the country.
Also, the TUC decried the alarming rate of unemployment in the country, especially among youths and called for a pro-active measure before it generated into yet another state of anarchy.
The TUC, in its independence celebration statement, decried the growing insecurity in the land which had become a nightmare, saying that the numerous bombings and wastages of lives and property going on in the northern states of Nigeria by the Boko Haram sect are unacceptable.
The union, therefore, demanded the reactivation of job creation centers in all the states of the federation and Abuja plus all the local government areas.Share