- Intervene in Kogi Labour Crisis, NLC Tells FG
The leadership of the Nigeria labour Congress has pleaded with the Federal Government to intervene in the ongoing political and labour unrest in Kogi State before it escalates.
The President of the organised labour, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement on Friday, warned that the clampdown on members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities had degenerated into political violence as recently seen in the state House of Assembly.
He condemned the impeachment of the former Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Alfa Imam, claiming that the action was linked to the move made by Imam to investigate the disbursements of the Paris Club refund following non-payment of workers’ salaries and pensions.
He expressed disappointment at the unfair treatment of labour unions and workers in the state, saying it represented the “height of intolerance, insensitivity and impunity, and a precursor to dictatorship and anarchy.”
Wabba added, “The offence of the former Speaker was that he had initiated a legislative process to look into the disbursements of the Paris Club refund following the non-payment of salaries and pensions, and the industrial tension in its aftermath.
“But the former Speaker was lucky to have got off lightly as the House member, who moved the motion for this process, ended up in Plaster of Paris courtesy of the thugs dispatched to disrupt the House proceedings.”
The NLC president enjoined the Federal Government to urgently commence investigations into the disbursement of bailout funds, continuous non-payment of salaries and pensions, and endless workers’ audit, which had become a convenient alibi for owing salaries and pensions.
Wabba expressed fears that the state of affairs in Kogi would jeopardise democracy, advising that it was better to build strong institutions than strong individuals.
He added, “We need not remind the government that these represent strong threats to our democracy and should not be condoned. Government should not be under the illusion that the developments in the state will simply peter out with time. It will be a criminally negligent assumption and, therefore, dangerous.
“We at the Nigeria Labour Congress similarly consider ourselves duty-bound to remind the government that it should not sacrifice the interests of the people of Kogi State on political considerations or convenience. The Kogi State situation has dragged on for too long and the Federal Government cannot continue to look the other way. The time to act is now.”