Labour Party has said that the incessant workers’ strikes in Nigeria may not end until when a government enthroned by workers will prioritize citizens’ welfare.
The party said Nigeria under Peter Obi’s presidency would have afforded citizens the opportunity of a welfare government that will afford the workers the privilege to sit at the table with their employers and negotiate wages, working conditions and workers’ welfare.
The Acting National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh in a statement by the party to felicitate with Nigerian workers on the May Day celebration however assured the workers that Labour Party will not rest on its oars until it recovers its stolen mandate and reposition the country for greatness and effective service delivery.
The statement reads “The Labour Party leadership wants to use this May Day occasion to felicitate with Nigerian workers for holding on till today. We also want to use this opportunity to appreciate all the workers and all the Progressive elements in the country for supporting our Presidential Candidate, HE Peter Obi and the Labour Party to win the presidential election even though the mandate was stolen. We want to appreciate the workers profusely for this massive support. All these feats would not have been possible were it not because of the support of Nigerian workers and the Nigerian people.
“We are using this opportunity of May Day to assure the workers that we will continue to struggle until we recover our stolen mandate. Macbeth said, if you murder sleep, you will sleep no more. Those who have stolen our mandate will not sleep until we recover our mandate. We have implicit confidence in the court that it will do the right thing. That is why we have chosen to be law-abiding, in spite of the pressure from the people who want to be on the street, we have decided to exercise restraint and follow the path of the law. We sincerely believe the court will give us justice at the end of the day.
“We are also not discouraged by the Black Legs that we are seeing in the party. It is expected because we didn’t expect as a party, to have gotten to this level, that it would not be without a fight. Because even among the twelve disciples, people who stayed with Jesus Christ, we still had a Judas. So we try not to be discouraged, we refused to be distracted, we remain focused on our mandate and we will continue to fight and defend Nigerian workers and defend Nigerian people.
“Today as we speak, the minimum wage for workers can not take workers home. N30,000 Minimum Wage is an insult to the workers. It can’t take workers home, a bag of rice as we speak today is N40.000 and Minimum Wage is N30.000.
“The founding fathers of the country had contemplated the country to be a Welfare state, that is why the provision of Chapter Two of the Constitution was emphatic that the security and welfare of the citizens shall be the principal purpose of government. It went further to say that the national economy should be managed in a way that gives maximum welfare to the citizens of Nigeria. What it connotes is that the country is planned to be a Welfare state.
“Today, the people have no welfare, no means of livelihood, no employment, the people are hungry, poverty is ravaging the mind, and out of a country of 230 million people, over 130 million people are either poor or in abject poverty.
“No doubt, this suffering by the people is leadership inflicted as we have continued to emphasize. We have all the natural and human resources to be a great country but the serial leadership failure over the years is the reason why we are where we are today.
“This 2023 general election would have been the turning point in the history of Nigerian workers but for the forces of darkness that have severally put in abeyance the dreams of Nigeria and the people, Nigerians are still being frustrated. So we assure the workers that all hope is not lost. We will continue to struggle knowing that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. We believe very strongly that very shortly, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
“We have had enough of protests and strikes in Nigeria. Workers must work hard and fight for a Labour government because it is only when we have a Labour Party government that workers will heave a sigh of relief from their suffering, poor wages, poor working conditions and the situation they found themselves in currently. Therefore all workers must be united with Labour Party to struggle for this mandate that has been stolen from us and to ensure the sustenance of concentrated engagement until a Labour Government is engaged.
“We have been protesting over the years. Since the struggle for independence, Nigerian workers have been protesting on the streets, fought for independence, thinking that it would bring welfare to the workers but after the independence, nothing changed with the workers. During the military, Nigerian workers were on the streets struggling for a democratic government believing that with democracy, welfare governance will be attained but the situation is even worse.
“What Nigerians need presently is a Labour Government that will work for the workers, the poor, the downtrodden and for the vast majority of the people. It is only then that the workers can heave a sigh of relief. That is the situation in countries like Brazil, Australia amongst others that have been able to enthrone workers’ government. In these countries, workers are no longer protesting on the streets because they sit at the table with their employers and negotiate wages, working conditions and workers’ welfare. In fact, in those countries, it is taken for granted that welfare of the citizens is paramount. So, not until we get there, Nigerian workers cannot say it is Uhuru.”
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