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Labour, CSOs move to salvage Nigeria

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Oyibo succeeds Quadri Olaleye of Nestle Plc, who is currently the president of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.

Labour and civil society groups across Nigeria, yesterday, converged on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja to launch a Campaign for Transformative Governance in response to bad governance in the country.

The initiative is joint labour and civil society advocacy and campaign programme to influence radical change in government policies, processes and institutions at all levels towards achieving transformative governance aimed at delivering public services and providing the basic needs of citizens.

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The groups include Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) and the Federation of Informal Workers of Nigeria (FIWON), Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), among others.

Insisting on the necessity of the initiative, the groups said the Nigerian government at all levels has failed to meet the socio-economic and welfare needs of Nigerians due to a lack of political will and commitment. 

In a statement issued by Programmes Director of CAPPA, Philip Jakpor, on behalf of the groups after a media briefing in Abuja, they said the socio-economic and security outlook in the country has continued to worsen with the state becoming more repressive and intolerant of the views that challenge or criticise government’s actions or inactions.

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They also frowned on Nigeria’s ranking among the poorest countries in the world despite its enormous and vast natural resources.

General Secretary of FIWON, Comrade Gbenga Komolafe, said Nigerian citizens are in search of a transformation that will make the nations’ institutions work for everybody. He said Nigeria is confronted with several challenges, especially insecurity, which he blamed on the government.

He insisted that government is culpable for all the crimes going on in the country. He said governors and lawmakers have been accused of arming thugs to terrorise people to win elections but afterwards find it hard to retrieve the arms. What Nigeria and Nigerians are experiencing now is a direct result of all these.

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The solutions, however, are active citizenship that is aware of its citizenship and readiness to confront these evils headlong. 

General Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals, an affiliate of TUC, Comrade Martins Egbanubi, said Nigerians have suffered enough and should now join forces together through a pan-Nigerian movement irrespective of ethnic and religious leanings.

He explained that Labour and CSOs have worked together before to chase the military from power and must now do the same again to liberate Nigeria. According to him, the concept of transformative governance would address disconnect, social exclusion of the youth and inequalities that have made Nigeria what it is today.

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On his part, co-Convener of the Campaign, Comrade Jaye Gaskya of Praxis Centre, said the transformative governance campaign has been established to reverse the negative trend and downward spiral. He called for a robust and expansive civic space where the right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association is guaranteed.

The major concerns of the campaign are ensuring accessible and effective public service delivery; enabling political education of citizens for transformative governance, and promoting and enhancing human security as a panacea to the endemic insecurity in the country and ravaging poverty and devastating conditions of the people.

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