Nigeria at 61: NLC urges Nigerians to resume march to greatness
The Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) has called on Nigerians to resume their match to greatness as the country marks its 61 years of Independence.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, made the call in a statement on the commemoration of Nigeria’s 61st Independence anniversary on Thursday in Abuja.
‘He said there was no gainsaying the contribution of Nigeria’s working class to the national development, peace and unity.
”On this commemoration of another independence anniversary, we recall and honour the selfless efforts of heroes and heroines past and present Nigerian workers, our pensioners including ex-servicemen and women, members of the armed services, women, youths, and Nigerian children.
”Upon the attainment of independence 61 years ago, a lot was expected of the country that hosts the largest population of black people on the planet.
”It was on the strength of that hope that Nigeria shortly after Independence became the pilgrimage destination for many developments minded world leaders including the famed Lee Kuan Yew of the Singapore phenomenal transformation,” he said.
Wabba noted that sixty-one years ago, Nigeria was certainly on a march to greatness.
He added that in every part of the country, there was a manifest gush of hope, faith, energy and commitment in the stride of most Nigerians as our compatriots strove to prove a point that independence was not a fluke.
” That indeed we could do better than the white colonial administrators. Indeed, we sure made such a huge progress in those initial years of our national life,” he said.
He noted that those were the days of the famed groundnut pyramid in Kano, palm oil plantations in the Eastern region, the rubber estates in the Mid-West and the cocoa fields in Western Nigeria.
“Life was indeed safe, secured and abundant,” he said.
Wabba however, said then, politics happened. Instead of building on the zeal and energy of Nigerian workers and people to redeem the image of the black race which was badly mauled by slave trade and colonisation.
”Our political leaders shifted their eyes from the dreams of a great country and became fixated with the delusion of personal conquests through the primitive accumulation of wealth aided by a deliberate divide and rule politics.
”Till today, after many successive governments, our country is yet to recover from the tsunami of ethno-religious politics, values disorientation, and the weakening of unifying institutions.
”The symptoms of the break-in our progress march stare us hard in the face. Our deterioration has come so fast and furious that we have inadvertently surrendered our will and space for development to very unreasonable,”he said.
He added that violent and destructive non-state actors who had not only become a law to themselves but were trying to impose their regime of lawlessness on all.
The NLC president further said that it was time to own up to the truth of the self-inflicted pains and examine closely where Nigerians lost it as a nation. Adding that was not too late to resume the paused march to greatness.
”We can still become that country that accords the pride of place to truth, productivity, hard work, excellence, integrity, patriotism, service and sacrifice. We can still create industries for our teeming youths to gain decent jobs.
”We can still provide the excellent infrastructure that inspires inclusive economic growth.
“We can still foster an atmosphere of rule of law, equity, social justice, peace, law and order as a sustainable cure for the deregulated crises of violence in many parts of Nigeria.
”We can still regain our humanity of love and care for workers and pensioners. The rest of the African continent waits for us.
”The entire black race believes that our renaissance as a country will be their redemption. We must not keep them all waiting for too long. We must now come to the party and take our high chair in the comity of nations.
”Let’s release the pause button. Let the march to true national greatness begin,” he said.