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We have lost 2,000 members to Boko Haram, say labour unions


President of Congress, Ayuba Wabba,. PHOTO: YOUTUBE

• Seek payment of dead members’ benefits

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday said it had lost about 2,000 workers to the nefarious activities of Boko Haram terrorists since the insurgency began.President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, who stated this in Abuja at the presentation of a report tagged “Employment and decent work for peace” by the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity, urged state governments to provide succour to workers that lost their breadwinners to the insurgency.

“We have lost more than 2,000 workers that include teachers, local government workers, and health workers because they are the first line of attack. Teachers have been particularly more affected because the ideology of the sect is their opposition to western education.”Wabba lamented the non-payment of benefits to the survivors of workers that lost their lives to Boko Haram attacks on active duty.

“I am not happy because up till now, their benefits have not been paid. I therefore call on the states concerned to give priority to the dependants of those that have died as a result of attacks by the insurgents.

“We would write formal letters to the state governments to demand for the payment of teachers, civil servants, health workers and local government workers that have died in active service their benefits because what the unions are doing now is to fill the gaps that exist due to negligence. There are a huge number of orphans and widows that are suffering,” he said.

The labour groups are to work with development partners to address the issues of human and trade union rights. “Conflicts have been on the increase in recent times and the root of these conflicts can be traced to the near total absence of good governance and adherence to the rule of law.

“Once we deviate from respecting these principles, conflict is inevitable. Good governance can address poverty, education, health and building of infrastructure. If the widening gap of inequality is not urgently addressed, conflict will continue unabated,” Waba said.

President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Bobboi Kaigama, called for prosecution of the political elites behind the festering of Boko Haram. He urged the working class and friends of labour movement to go beyond providing succour to victims in the Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) camps by collaborating for the prosecution of masterminds of terrorism.

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Ayuba WabbaNLC
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