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HomePoliticsReal Economic Saboteurs Are Those Looting National Treasures, Labour Replies Akpabio

Real Economic Saboteurs Are Those Looting National Treasures, Labour Replies Akpabio

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has described as baseless, the accusation by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio that the indefinite nationwide strike by the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) constitutes economic sabotage, emphasizing that the true economic saboteurs are in the mirror.

NLC in a statement on Wednesday by its Head, Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, said such accusation is deeply troubling for Nigerian patriots and democracy advocates, adding that the real economic saboteurs are those looting national treasures, not the Labour.

In the statement, NLC contended that the statement by the Senate President, Senator Akpabio negates the democratic principles the Senate claims to uphold, stating that the National Assembly, being the closest arm of government to the people, should understand the people’s sentiments while also guiding their actions and pronouncements accordingly.

The statement reads: “Strikes are not only legal but a civic duty and a critical tool for holding those in authority and power accountable. It is a democratic right, essential for preventing dictatorship and social collapse.

“For the past 25 years, the political elite wilfully sabotaged Nigeria through acts of corruption and abuse of power, not the workers. The true economic saboteurs are those looting national resources, not the labour force.

“We therefore urge patriotic members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to distance themselves from these damaging remarks. Nigerian workers have the constitutional right to strike in response to unfair labor practices, and the NLC and TUC have exercised this right lawfully.

“The economic issues prompting the strike, like electricity tariff hikes and unfair consumer classifications, are burdens that exacerbate poverty and inequality but from which the political elite are insulated. The NLC will continue to advocate for fair economic policies and a national minimum wage that is realistic.

“Labour unions played a crucial role in restoring democracy to Nigeria, from which current lawmakers benefit therefore, they will not sabotage it. The NLC remains committed to protecting workers’ rights and calls on government representatives to address the underlying issues leading to the stnke through constructive dialogue and genuine efforts to improve living standards instead of indulging in eye-service criticism,

“The Senate President should be concerned about the militarisation of a purely trade union dispute instead of this unhelpful blame game. Let those who are inviting the military now remember when tomorrow comes. Nigerian workers cannot operate under military conditions in a democracy, we will resist this with everything we have. Doing this on time will avert another round of industrial crisis.

“The Senate President’s subtle threat that the Senate will move into Executive Session to address the issue of our strike smacks of contempt for open and transparent debate which ought to be the bedrock of parliamentary proceedings. As he goes into the “coven”, the Senate President should realise that the mght to strike is now settled by the International Labour Organisation (ILO} despite Senator Lalong as Minister of Labour voting against it. We call on him to retrace his steps and know that he is the President of the Senate and not Chairman of the Supreme Military Council of Nigeria.

“We remain open to dialogue with the government for sustainable solutions benefiting all Nigerians and expect proactive interventions to prevent anti-worker policies. We will not be intimidated by such unfortunate statements from the hallowed chambers of the Senate and we expect due apologies if it was a slip. Any attempt to undermine legitimate labour actions will not be acceptable to us”.

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