..Says Labour‘ll mobilise against parties with plans to inflict more pains on Nigerians
By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, weekend, challenged the All Progressives Congress, APC, and other political parties to use subsidy removal, sale of refineries and other anti-masses programmes to canvass for votes.
NLC insisted that organised labour would mobilise against political parties planning to inflict more pain and suffering on Nigerians, declaring that Nigerian workers, through a number of painstaking processes, had been able to articulate a Nigerian Workers’ Charter of Demands, which the NLC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, were using to engage the political process.
The labour movement was reacting to a statement by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment and the campaign spokesperson of the Presidential Campaign Council of APC, Festus Keyamo.
APC had in a statement, challenged the NLC over its seeming support for the position of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, on the heated issue of removal of petrol subsidies.
But a statement by its President, Ayuba Wabba, entitled, “The position of Nigeria Labour Congress on petrol subsidies has not changed, it only got amplified,” NLC said: “We wish to commend the Minister of State for responding positively to earlier calls by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, that political parties must focus their engagement on the current electoral cycle campaigns on issues-based politics.
‘’We believe that an issues-based campaign will help sieve the facts from fiction, address burning national issues, review the performance of those in government at all levels, especially on the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, and improve Nigeria’s public accountability frameworks, prepare voters behaviour on election day, away from the destructive lines of ethnoreligious divide and defuse the looming political tension.
“In furtherance of the avowed position of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on issues-based campaign in the run-up to the 2023 general election, we wish to state that Nigerian workers, through a number of painstaking processes, have been able to articulate a Nigerian Workers’ Charter of Demands which the NLC and TUC are using to engage the political process.
“A major demand in the Nigerian Workers Charter of Demands is that our local public refineries must work. We have also demanded that we must stop 100 per cent importation of refined petroleum products.
‘’The NLC and, indeed, the labour movement in Nigeria has over many decades been vehemently consistent that the only way to address the issue of the so-called petrol subsidies is to get our refineries to work.
‘’The logic is very simple: it is atrocious to buy from abroad at very expensive prices a product that a country like ours can easily produce at home.
“If any political party goes around saying it planned to sell our refineries, remove subsidies, and further oppress long-suffering Nigerians, they should be ready to defend such stance to Nigerians at the campaigns.
‘’The NLC, organized labour, and Labour Party’s position has not changed. It only got amplified.”
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