Insecurity: NLC raises alarm over attempt to silence ‘patriotic voices’

• Urges Buhari to rejig security apparatus, try new capable hands

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)on Tuesday raised alarm over an organised campaign to silence ‘progressive and patriotic voices’ on the state of insecurity in the country.

The congress also stressed the need to try new capable hands and tactics and therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rejig the security apparatus in the country.

In a statement issued and signed by the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the congress cited the example of the Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum and other Nigerians who have recently come under scathing attacks.

Regretting the development, Comrade Wabba said: “It has come to the notice of the Nigeria Labour Congress strenuous efforts by some faceless groups to politicize, discredit, discourage and demobilize ‘credible, progressive and patriotic voices’ speaking out courageously on the rising insecurity across the country. Recently, the Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum and other well-meaning Nigerians have come under scathing attacks from these hired gongs and masked town criers whose penchant is to play the Ostrich on behalf of their sponsors while Rome burns.

“Even the blind knows that the resurgence of insecurity in the country has taken very extreme dimensions. As we noted in our recent press statement on insecurity in Nigeria, many communities in the North East and North West geopolitical zone of Nigeria have been deserted for a long time owing to the prevailing insecurity. The lives of our fellow compatriots, many of whom are workers, have been turned into a living hell due to the protracted security challenge in the country.

“So, many lives, families, dreams and prospects have been torn asunder and many people have been inflicted with scars that may never heal throughout their lifetime. And some people want Nigerians to be quiet. No way!”

The congress pointed out that there have been reports purportedly issued by the military high command warning state governors against criticizing the military over its handling of the resurgence of insecurity all over the country.

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“Our first response is to doubt that such statements actually came from our military high command. If it is true that such statements truly emanated from an institution that is supposed to be under the sovereignty of the people as reposed on elected democratic leadership at all levels, then it is quite unfortunate.” The congress said.

While saluting the gallantry and sacrifice by members of our Armed Forces, the NLC said, it is also important to note that no person or institution is beyond constructive criticism especially by the people they claim to serve.

Comrade Wabba emphasized that under this democratic dispensation, no person carries the weight of the expectations, hopes and aspirations of the people than their elected leaders; hence, any attempt to belittle or dismiss their mandate would be tantamount to undermining the will of the Nigerian people, our democratic foundations and our sovereignty as a state.

He said: “We wish to warn meddlesome interlopers whose stock in trade is to sing for attention or to perform for the highest bidder to cease and desist from aggravating the hurt in the minds of many Nigerians especially those in the conflict zones who live every day as if it is their last day. Even when the corpse of another person resembles a log of wood, our humanity must evoke some empathy with the suffering, the wounded and the grieving otherwise we would be worse than the dead.”

Wabba added: “The Nigeria Labour Congress will not hesitate to expose those playing politics with the lives of ordinary Nigerians being wasted on a daily basis. We once again call on Mr President to rejig the security apparatus in the country. We need to try new tactics and new capable hands. Enough of the bloodshed already! We refuse to be reduced to a land of blood, tears, misery, fears and pains. Nigerians will not be cowed!”



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