Labour and civil society organisations launched a Transformative Governance Campaign in Abuja on Tuesday to tackle corruption and insecurity in Nigeria.
Unveiling the campaign, Mr Yunus Ya’u, Executive Director of the Centre for Information Technology and Development, said that poor leadership had continued to be Nigeria’s problem.
He said that the campaign was aimed at transforming the nation totally, addressing problems in the public sector and changing the trajectory of leadership to make it accountable.
“Today, insecurity persists not because there are criminals in our society but because politicians are benefitting from insecurity and corruption.
“It is our collective effort to eradicate corruption because the anti-graft agencies alone cannot do it, unless all of us come together to transform Nigeria.’’
Ya’u said the campaign would help to set Nigeria and Africa on the path of justice, equity and progressive governance.
Mr Gbenga Komolafe, General Secretary of the Federation of Informal Workers Organisations of Nigeria, said that it behoved on Nigerians to rally round to help each other to solve the nation’s challenges.
Komolafe said that the insecurity challenge started with politicians empowering thugs with arms to disrupt elections, adding that “at the end of the elections, they are unable to disarm them.”
He said that the nation was suffering from pervasive insecurity, noting that it was up to Nigerians to rally round for a solution and not to depend on the government to solve the problem.
“Fighting these challenges is up to us; therefore, we should refuse to be divided along ethnic and religious lines.
“So the key thing the campaign will do is to educate Nigerians on their rights, knowing that the government becomes responsible when held accountable.”
Komolafe said that the campaign was the only way Nigeria would have effective and functional service delivery.
According to him, the campaign will help to make young people to secure jobs and check other national challenges.
Mr Quadri Olaleye, President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), represented by Mr Marthin Egbanubi, General Secretary Nigerian Union of the Allied Health Professionals, confirmed the TUC’s support for the campaign.
Olaleye said that time had come for Nigeria’s liberation and that the nation must be governed by people of integrity, who would deliver on campaign promises.
According to him, poverty does not know religion or ethnicity so there is need to galvanise efforts for liberation to ensure transformative governance.
He said that democracy had been abused in Nigeria, raising the need to urgently savage the nation through transformative governance to address social exclusion, unemployment, etc.
The unionist said it was time to treat workers with integrity, respect and guarantee social protection for them because without them, there would be no transformation.
Olaleye reiterated the need to convert security votes for governors to job and workers’ vote as it would make the nation to pay the minimum wage easily.
“We have come to a stage where Nigeria must be safe. We must work toward providing a platform to support leaders that can make democracy and governance work for Nigerians, regardless of religion and ethnicity.
“The struggle is real and we need Nigerians, who want to make the nation work to join in this struggle and make it a better place for the good of all.
“Nigeria can be a nation where citizens will wake up and say `God bless Nigeria’ and not to be cursing her,’’he said.
The co-convener of the campaign, Mr Jaye Gaskia, said that the campaign was a joint labour and pro-labour civil society advocacy platform to influence radical changes in government policies.
Gaskia said the campaign was to also influence changes in processes and institutions at all levels toward achieving transformative governance that would deliver on public services and provide basic needs of citizens and residents.
Gaskia stressed the importance of a robust and expansive civic space where the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association were guaranteed.
This position, he said, was premiered on the direct correlation between the civic space and the ability to hold government accountable.
He said that from the independence struggles till date, the labour movement, comprising labour and pro-labour civil society organisations had been pivotal to the struggle for human development and freedom.
He said that the campaign would work toward strengthening relationships with stakeholders in the labour movement. (NAN)