‘Empty Promises’ Your Problem Not NLC – Ajaero Tackles Tinubu

  • Insists FG must address biting hardship, suffering among citizens instead of looking for scapegoats

BY EDMOND ODOK – The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said the inability of President Bola Tinubu to fulfil promises made to Nigerians should be uppermost in his mind instead of blaming Labour for the woes and underperformance of his administration.

Speaking through its President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, the NLC insisted that President Tinubu should not look for scapegoats but remain duty bound to fulfil his promises to Nigerians in the face of biting hardship being experienced nationwide.

According to Comrade Ajaero, singling the Labour Movement out for criticisms further demonstrate how the President and his administration are sadly disconnected from the realities faced by Nigerians on a daily basis.

The NLC President was responding to President Tinubu’s remarks at the commissioning of the Red-Line Railway Project in Lagos, on Thursday where he accused NLC of partisanship.

President Tinubu, while resenting rethe nationwide protest by NLC over widespread hardship in the land, said the Labour Movement was unfair to his nine-month-old administration.

Clearly accusing the NLC of partisanship in its actions and comments, President Tinubu said at the event; “Allow me to throw a jab here. The Labour Union should understand that no matter how much we cling to our freedom and rights, to call for strike within nine (9) months of an administration is unacceptable.

“If you want to participate in the electoral process, meet us in 2027. If not maintain peace. You are not only voice of Nigeria”.

However, reacting to the President’s position in a statement titled; “MR. PRESIDENT: WE ARE NOT AFTER YOUR JOB”, Comrade Ajaero said; “We find these remarks, particularly those concerning the role of Labour in governance, to be profoundly at variance with the struggles faced by ordinary Nigerians under existing policies.

“President Tinubu’s insinuation that Labour lacks the moral ground to challenge his administration, merely nine months into office, is deeply troubling. Moreover, his focus on partisan issues and the distant 2027 election cycle, rather than the urgent needs of the populace, further underscores a disconnect from the realities faced by Nigerians on a daily basis.

“It is regrettable that the President seems oblivious to the profound hardships endured by millions of Nigerians. The pervasive hunger, unemployment, housing insecurity, and escalating costs of basic necessities such as food and healthcare demand immediate attention and decisive action. Yet, instead of addressing these pressing concerns, President Tinubu appears preoccupied with political calculations and future electoral prospects.

“The NLC wishes to emphasize that our primary objective is not to vie for political positions, including that of the President. Rather, our sole focus is on advocating for effective governance that prioritizes the welfare and security of all Nigerians. We urge President Tinubu to redirect his efforts towards fulfilling this fundamental duty of public office, rather than engaging in political rhetoric.”

The NLC President, who maintained that the Tjnubu administration must stop playing to the gallery and seek productive ways of tackling the nation’s myriad of challenges, said; “It is imperative that we refocus our collective energy on addressing the substantive issues that have been the subject of engagement between Labour and the government since June 2023.

“These include critical matters such as wage increases, social welfare programs, infrastructure development, and the revitalization of key sectors such as education and healthcare.

“In any case to avoid the dissipation of energy, it is important that we focus on the real issues because we have engaged the government since June 2023 after the subsidy is gone statement. The issues are around the non-implementation of agreements reached between us and the government.

“For example; on June 5, 2023 after the hike in the Price of PMS, the following agreements were reached between us and the Government viz;1. Review Proposal for Wage Increase and Award including framework for timing and implementation.

“Mr. President, these agreements were reached but the Committee that was saddled with working on these was never inaugurated and none of them was implemented until we were forced to organize a nationwide rally while the president gave his personal commitment. However, Mr. President, nothing came out of your promises.”

Noting that it took another round of protests for the October 2, 2023 agreement to be reached, Comrade Ajaero, while outlining all the agreements so far entered into with the government, challenged the President to tell Nigerians which one he has been able to implement as promised.

The NLC, which reiterated “its unwavering commitment to championing the interests of Nigerian workers and the broader populace”, urged “President Tinubu to heed the voices of ordinary Nigerians, prioritize governance over politics, and take meaningful steps towards building a more inclusive and equitable society.”

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