Stories by Bimbola Oyesola 08033246177
Against the recent clamour for ethnic segregation, Organised Labour and its Civil Society allies have tasked Nigerians to stand up with one voice and fight those promoting division on the basis of primordial affinity.
The Organised Labour represented by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) warned that those championing the crisis are doing it not for the good of the community but for their vested interests.
They, however noted: “On our part as Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria and civil society, we are determined to stop our elite and their lackeys from throwing us as a nation into another avoidable civil war.”
Labour said those fanning the embers of disunity needed to be discouraged and schooled on the realities of war.
“In the same vein, we appeal to all parts of Nigeria, and indeed, all Nigerians not to fall cheaply for the glamorisation of conflict or war, as a solution to our self-inflicted crisis,” it said.
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, speaking on behalf of the groups at the weekend, lamented that the persistent hot exchanges and attacks, which have taken over the national discourse in recent times tend to threaten the very foundation and integrity of the nation’s sovereignty and unity and, therefore, do not represent the true feelings of patriotic Nigerians for one another.
He said they rather, symbolise the intensity of greed, the implacable arrogance and desperation of the elite, some of whom have been funding or sponsoring the hate campaigns that can only lead to the disintegration of country.
Wabba said organised labour found it more urgent to speak out, “because a physical conflict will hurt us all; most particularly workers, pensioners and their families, who will be the most direct and immediate casualties.
“Let us, therefore, not allow them to use poor Nigerian workers, pensioners and peasants, as cannon fodders for their selfish interests. The desperate but vocal few cannot and should not be allowed to speak for the majority of us!”
Noting that coming together of the different regions might not have been devoid of some dissatisfaction and disaffection, he said that Nigeria was not alone in this kind of problem, adding that there is no perfect political union anywhere under the sun.
“Many of our men and women of conscience and goodwill have in the short period of the current altercation pointed to some of the fundamental social and economic challenges of our society. We strongly believe that we should be paying attention to these problems by developing the capacity to address them instead of falling into the self-inflicted trap of stereotyping one another as enemies, and debasing our common humanity by casting and shrinking ourselves into primitive shades”, he said.
The NLC President reiterating the movement position on one Nigeria, opined that Nigerians common enemy, and whom all must resolve to face, remains the corrupt political class, who instead of utilising the God-endowed wealth of the nation, choose to loot it for themselves and their children thereby depriving the citizens of decent living and inflicting a scarred collective psychology that is predominantly negative, hostile and unproductive.
He stated further, “If the resources available to us as a nation were well managed and not stolen by both the corrupt public and private sector operators, the escalating problems of (youth) unemployment, decaying infrastructure, non-funding of education, health and other social services, would have been adequately addressed.
“In our estimation, most of the issues in contention can be resolved through good governance, sustainable and transparent fight against corruption and addressing inequities and injustice in the system.
“Retreating into our tribal or ethnic enclaves without first addressing these issues, for us, amounts to abdication of collective responsibility and no more than making a bad case worse. This is why we speak to the ordinary Nigerians and Nigerians of good conscience to stand up and fight the evil in the system instead of attempting to destroy the whole nation.”