The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has raised an alarm of what it called renewed threats posed by the Boko Haram insurgency to the security of the nation, saying available information have it that the insurgents were fast regrouping and pose potential threat to the nation.
The congress said the insurgents have recently carried out some attacks in the north east which suggest they were regrouping to wreck more havoc on the people.
President of the congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba who spoke at the National Executive Council meeting of the Congress in Abuja also said that Labour leaders have now become target for assassination, adding that it has reported the recent murder of a Labour leader in Kogi state to the global watch dog for Labour issues.
While lamenting that workers have been at the receiving end of the harsh economic realities in the country, Wabba said the Congress has received formal communication from the government that they were ready to inaugurate the national minimum wage committee to review the current minimum wage.
While saying that the committee’s inauguration was supposed to have been done, he said it had to be shifted to allow leaders of the Trade Union Congress return from an official engagement outside the country, hug insisted however that the committee must be given a particular time line to conclude negotiation.
He also called for the immediate constitution of Boards of agencies and parastatals with workers representatives, pointing out that information available to the congress has it that President has already approved the composition of the board.
He said the congress has tried to do a lot of policy engagement and look at the various sectors and the challenges from the economic to security and social angles as well as issues in our polity, adding that “clearly speaking, it is obvious that workers have been at the receiving end.
“Some of the new trend suggest that workers have come under some level of attack and violation of their fundamental rights. When a worker is not being paid after 30 days, his rights have been violated. The same applies to the pensioner.
“I want to salute your courage for confronting these challenges head on. We will continue to act in a way and manner that will make sure we advance issues of social justice in our system and rule of law and respect for dignity of law should be respected. Some of these challenges are numerous.
“In the social angle, we are aware of the usual threat to throw our members out of their jobs and that has a lot of social consequences that will add to the problem. Unemployment of our youths is one of the challenges that Labour has tried to tackle over times.
“Importantly also is the emerging trend in our security paradigm. Hitherto, we have celebrated the successes in areas where we have security challenges in the country. In the recent past, we have seen how the issues of Boko Haram has been responded to.
“I think there is an emerging trend that suggest that they are actually regrouping. In recent time, we learnt that they have launched two attacks and this has actually raised some concerns. The same thing applies to the emerging agitations in the Niger Delta region.
“The stability of any system is predicated on peace and stability. Without peace, no investor will be encouraged to do any kind of investment anywhere in Nigeria. That is why the primary purpose of governance anywhere around the world is peace, security and welfare of the people.
“Therefore, peace and security is very important. When we have instability anywhere, it means that the issue of inequality will continue to be exacerbated. Therefore, we are concerned with all of this, but importantly is the issue of due process and the rule of law.
“Workers have come under serious attack because those rights have been violated and we have evidences that such rights have been violated. Our political elites who swore by the constitution to uphold the sanctity of the rule of law and respect for human dignity have been acting with impunity. Anywhere there is lack of respect for the rule of law, there will anarchy and so, there will be survival of the fittest.
“There is a new agitation through a process that is aimed at exploiting all of us by making sure that Labour issues are removed from the exclusive legislative list. We must strengthen our engagement. On no account should any state sign any undertaking on this issue without advancing our position.”
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