JAF flays NLC, TUC for accepting FG’s deregulation, privatisation policies
The Joint Action Front (JAF) has berated the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) for accepting Federal Government’s deregulation and privatisation models, insisting that good governance was not as defined by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
It argued that the enthronement of privatisation and other anti-poor, neo-liberal policies, as advised by the World Bank and IMF by successive governments had foisted mass poverty, unemployment and a large number of out-of-school-children on the country.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos at the weekend, its Deputy Chairman, Achike Chude, and Secretary, Abiodun Aremu, urged Nigerian youths and the working masses to realise that the attainment of good governance was only possible through struggle against privatisation, commercialisation of education and other neo-liberal policies and fight for a system in which the needs of the people, not the greed and profit of a few, would form the basis of governance, production and wealth distribution.
“It is unfortunate that organised labour could not provide leadership for the expression of mass anger against the anti-poor policies of the President Muhammdu Buhari government that was encapsulated in the #EndSARS protests. We frown on the cancellation of the strike and mass protest against hikes in fuel price and electricity tariff by the labour leaders.
“More importantly, we condemn NLC and TUC’s acceptance of deregulation and privatisation policies, which have proved to be a monumental failure and colossal fraud as seen with the privatization of power. While this is bad enough, it is more disturbing that a decision that reverses the policy on deregulation and privatisation without a democratic discussion through the organs of the Congress.
“JAF restated it call on on trade unions and workers to reject the new twist in labour’s official position, which contradicts its National Executive Committee (NEC) and delegates organs’ resolutions on deregulation and privatisation. We call on trade unions and workers to demand a truly democratically run of the NLC and TUC with an aggressive leadership that will consistently defend the interests and rights of workers and the poor masses,” they stated.
They stressed that JAF would intensify the national mobilisation of Nigerians on a long drawn struggle for system change, which commenced on September 16, 2020 over its demands for the unconditional reversal in the hike of the prices of petrol and electricity tariffs and other anti-poor policies.
“The recent development has once again, brought to the fore the point we have consistently made that there is a very tiny group of Nigerians, who have cornered the commonwealth of the working people and the poor, who are in majority. They loot the treasury and use their stolen wealth to sustain themselves in power and use their power to get richer, while the poor get poorer.
“This is the system of exploitation and oppression. It is the system that brings out the army and the police to kill poor Nigerians when they protest against exploitation and oppression. We want to change that system and replace it with a system where the working people and millions of youths, who are suffering under the exploitative system will win power and ensure that the wealth of the country is used to ensure good life for majority of the people,” they added.
The group also insisted that system change was not the same as replacing one government with another and that it meant replacing a bad government with a people’s government to reorganise Nigeria and end exploitation and oppression, adding: “ The above explains why we are urging Nigerians to form a broad movement devoid of ethnic and religious divides to struggle for political power and system change.”