NLC to Governors : Don’t Jeopardize Nigeria’s Hard-Earned Democracy



nlc-logoThe Nigeria Labour Congress,NLC has urged governors of 36 states of the federation not to put the country’s hard earned democracy in jeopardy .Labour said this as part of the   communiqué of its National Executive Council ,NEC held on Tuesday May 23,2013 in Abuja,Nigeria.
NLC said “Congress has watched with keen interest the developments in the Governors Forum and wants to sound a note of caution. While Congress notes that like any group of people, the governors have a right o organize themselves, it should be within the civilized norms of society. Congress therefore refuses to believe that Governors who are themselves beneficiaries of supposedly credible elections cannot organize a simple election themselves, a class of 36.
“This presupposes that something fundamentally must have gone wrong somewhere. Whatever it is, the governors and their fellow travelers in power should quickly fix it. As critical custodians of the peoples mandate and grand beneficiaries of our democracy, there are certain things governors must not be seen to be doing.
The communiqué signed by Abdulwahed Omar president and Chris Uyot,acting general secretary added,“We at the Congress irrevocably stand for certain values which we will not compromise for anything. We are opposed to impunity at all levels and the undermining of national security and unity. We have respect for process and its outcome. We stand for justice.
“In the light of the foregoing,”,NLC said ”we call on our governors to:Create value around as well as restore dignity to their office;Get back to work instead of unnecessarily overheating the polity;Not put in jeopardy our hard-earned democracy; Respect the process and outcome of their election;Remember June 12.”

Read the full text of the communiqué below:

THE TEXT OF THE COMMUNIQUE OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) OF THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS WHICH HELD ON TUESDAY,
MAY 28,2013 AT THE LABOUR HOUSE, ABUJA

THE National Executive Councilof the Congress at its meeting of May 28, 2013 held at the Labour House, Abuja, observes as follows:
1) Economy
Although, the economy is said to have recorded a growth rate of about 7 per cent, it has created few or no jobs, leading to an all-time high unemployment records. Whereas official figures put unemployment rate at 24 per cent, there are indicators to believe that the actual estimate could be as high as 60 per cent or higher. Nearly all of our employable youths remain unemployed, constituting a veritable army of the hungry, disillusioned and angry with potential for undermining the peace and security of the nation.

Critical infrastructures continue to decayjust as power generation continues to dip. Government’s promises in the power , especially in power generation and distribution have been observed in the breach. Non-budgetary provision for power supply has worsened the power situation, in spite of unjustifiable high tariffs.

Rising communal and sectarian violence across the country contributes in no small way to undermining the national productive industrial and agricultural capacity. Last year’s floods and potential for more floods this year have probable affect of undermining security.

Government still has a role to play in reversing this trend. It for instance cannot afford the luxury of leaving the economy to market forces, as no reasonable government does that. There must be an affirmative declaration by government to create jobs.
Similarly, governmentis invited to intervene in critical industries ( by way of intervention funds and policy) to sustain and create jobs.

Government should ensure there is adequate power supply to meet national needs through the design and execution of a seamless transition in its power programme.

2) Insecurity
Rising security challenges continues to threaten the sovereignty, unity and productive capacity of the country. Congress is concerned not only bythe extent of the waste of human lives but bythe audacity and viciousness of the perpetrators.

Whereas, poverty, disease, illiteracy and indoctrination cannot be divorced from these serial acts of violence, the immediatetrigger are the injustices inherent in our ,distribution of wealth, corruption, unemployment, impunity and bad governance.

Congress on its partre-affirms its belief in the in-alienability, inviolability and sovereignty of Nigeria; in pursuance of which it issued a statement supporting the declaration of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. However it wishes to reiterate that the observance of emergency procedure should be within the civilized rules of engagement governing conflicts of this nature. Thus, everything possible should be done to protect the civilian populations with channels for dialogue with the insurgents kept open.

3) Minimum Wage
In spite of the law on the new minimum wage , the signed agreements with state governments and the passage of time, some state governments have not fully implemented the minimum wage law. In states, teachers and local government workers are the victims. Congress considers this not only an affront to the law but an assault on workers and accordingly condemns this selective implementation of the law.

Congress will mobilize workers in the states to compel governments to pay. Meanwhile it gives its unalloyed support to the proposed action on the matter by members of the National Union of Teachers.

4) Governors Forum

Congress has watched with keen interest the developments in the Governors Forum and wants to sound a note of caution. While Congress notes that like any group of people, the governors have a right o organize themselves, it should be within the civilized norms of society. Congress therefore refuses to believe that Governors who are themselves beneficiaries of supposedly credible elections cannot organize a simple election themselves, a class of 36.

This presupposes that something fundamentally must have gone wrong somewhere. Whatever it is, the governors and their fellow travelers in power should quickly fix it. As critical custodians of the peoples mandate and grand beneficiaries of our democracy, there are certain things governors must not be seen to be doing.

We at the Congress irrevocably stand for certain values which we will not compromise for anything. We are opposed to impunity at all levels and the undermining of national security and unity. We have respect for process and its outcome. We stand for justice.

In the light of the foregoing, we call on our governors to:
Create value around as well as restore dignity to their office;
Get back to work instead of unnecessarily overheating the polity;
Not put in jeopardy our hard-earned democracy;
Respect the process and outcome of their election;
Remember June 12.

5) Honouring our heroes
Congress-in- session in decided to honour some of its departed heroes thus. Accordingly, it has named its sub-secretariat in Lagos after the Labour Leader No 1, Comrade Pa Imoudu.
It has also renamed the its national secretariat in Abuja, Paschal BafyauLabour House, after Paschal Bafyau who died last year.


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