By Sunday James
LEGISREPORTS NG – The faction of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) led by Joe Ajaero, weekend, kicked against the anti-corruption protest being planned by the National Assembly, which has reportedly gained the support of the Ayuba Wabba led faction.
Ajaero’s group said among others, for Nigerian workers, the most pressing issue was unpaid salaries and allowances to workers and pensioners by state governments and some federal agencies.
Reacting to report credited to Mr. Wabba that NLC would collaborate with the National Assembly over its planned protest in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war, Ajaero, argued that it would amount to hypocrisy to work with the legislators who have refused to reduce their outrageous pay and allowances in line with the mood of the nation which labour was planning to protest against.
Speaking to Journalists in Lagos, Ajaero contended that in the spirit of the reconciliatory process anchored by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, both parties ought to have met to iron out certain fundamental issues and do some in-house cleansing before taking such action.
According to him, “To collaborate with the National Assembly to protest against corruption when they have not allowed their salaries to fall in line with the minimum wage, is wrong. If we do that, that is hypocrisy at its highest level. I am saying this without mincing words, the two NLC factions can still meet and agree on a date to protest in support of anti corruption moves of President Buhari but not to be hypocritical about it.
“Before we do that, we must cleanse our house; we must make sure that the allegations over the Kriston-Lally Housing issue, over the labour city transport issue, and NLC election rigging and all others that have been destroying labour are cleared. Part of the issues that Comrade Oshiomhole and others looked into and which we all agreed to, was that we must go through the ethics of the movement, the rule of law and procedures in handling issues. If we have not gone into all these ones and we want to play to the gallery that we are protesting in support of anti-graft, we think the public will mock us and that is not the kind of NLC some of us want to see.
“At what point did we drop that idea of picketing the National Assembly over the furniture and wardrobe allowances and when workers salaries have not been paid. The two cannot work. If you understand the labour movement very well, that collaboration cannot stand. It is a collaboration based on deceit and not based on the ideals of labour.”
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