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NLC saddened by 19 years of meagre reward for workers


President of Congress, Ayuba Wabba,. PHOTO: YOUTUBE

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is unhappy 19 years of democratic rule has yielded little for Nigerian workers.In his message to mark the Day in Abuja, yesterday, NLC President Ayuba Wabba said: “There is no doubt that the mention of ‘people’ thrice in the definition of democracy is not a coincidence. It is only a statement of fact that the people are the fulcrum of democracy.

So, for us in Nigeria, it is perfectly fitting to ask ourselves, ‘How has democracy served the people of Nigeria?’ In our view, 19 years is long enough a time to ask, ‘How much progress have we made as a people in our democratic journey?’ The truth is that 19 years of democracy has come with very sparse rewards for the Nigerian people.”

He regretted that democracy has served the interest of the political class and not ordinary Nigerians. Persons elected to serve as leaders have not only turned around to serve themselves but have also exploited every opportunity to turn citizens into paupers, he said.

“How well has this democracy uplifted the spaces where we live and work? Without prejudice to the effort of this government, our infrastructure is still in tatters. Our roads are impassable, and public electricity supply remains epileptic. Our schools and health facilities have become sorry relics of what they used to be. The spate of killings, general wave of violence and insecurity across the country further traumatise the hapless citizenry,” he said.

He expressed sadness that despite escalating costs of living, devaluation of the naira and hardship in the land, the Nigerian worker is still forced to survive on N18,000 as minimum wage with some states still owing salaries and pensions.

Pensioners are wallowing in misery and unimaginable suffering in most states of the federation, while members of the political elite, led by state governors, take whopping severance packages, Wabba noted.“Worse still, we are worried by the political intolerance of governors and their philistine behaviour, completely at variance with what obtains at the centre,” he added.

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