Insecurity: Reverse the ugly narrative, NLC tells Buhari

•Proposes National Security Summit

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday condemned the spate of insecurity in the country and called on President Muhammadu Buhari,  to as a matter of urgency take a decisive decision to reverse the current ugly narrative.

President of NLC, Com. Ayuba Wabba made the call while speaking at the meeting of the National Administrative Council (NAC), of the NLC, however, disclosed that as its contribution to the insecurity crisis in the country, the Congress will soon organise a National Security Summit.

The National Administrative Council of NLC, led by Com. Wabba, met to address some pressing national issues; which include security, pension fund, casualisation, and minimum wage.

“We seem to have come full circle. And all segments of our society including the National Assembly are agreed that time has come for new thinking, new strategies and hard decisions.

“Accordingly, we urge Mr President to make decisive decisions to reverse the current ugly narrative! We must rein in now the desperate elements and disparate forces in the land that threaten to overwhelm us. Time is of essence. In all of this and on all fronts, there is one recurring question, ‘where did we go wrong?’“

Wabba pointed out that one of the cardinal campaign promises that brought to power President  Buhari in 2015 was his assurance to restore security to a traumatized people and a nation torn by strife, especially, the insurgency in the North East.

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He acknowledged the efforts of the present administration to address the issue of insecurity, but regretted that recently loads of commuters were either being abducted or slaughtered.

The NLC President said: “However, of recent, and on a sustainable basis, the Boko Haram insurgents have been hitting soft and military targets on a scale and regularity that makes one wonder if the gains of the past have not been reversed or wiped out.

“For example, at a stage, all the access roads leading to Maiduguri were taken over by the insurgents often dressed in military fatigues. Bus loads of commuters were either abducted or slaughtered. From their fall-back positions, the insurgents seized the initiative unleashing terror and mayhem on our military and civil populace.

“In a triumphal act of devious ingenuity, they yanked off Maiduguri and its environs from the national grid, plunging the place not only into darkness but causing a major disruption.

“Today, major access roads to Maiduguri are still under occupation by Boko Haram who unleash terror on hapless civilians and retreating military. This is not hearsay because the facts are very much in the open on a daily basis. Moreover, we have our members (NULGE, NURTW, MHWUN, NUT, Nurses, ASUU, etc) spread across the state, some of whom have been victims.

“Zamfara and Katsina States are in the vortex of renewed violence necessitating strafing by our Airforce in addition to manoeuvres by ground troops. There are renewed killings in the North Central, in particular, Plateau and Benue. People travel on the highways at their own risk. Indeed, the controversial Amotekun was a regional response to relentless killings, abductions, kidnappings and other crimes in the South West.”

Wabba said the Congress has concluded the plan to host a National Security Summit which will involve all stakeholders in Nigeria security architecture, and those very concerned with the ugly situation.

On the issue of casualisation, he said the Congress shall continue to resist Casualisation by engaging defaulting employers.

He said: “We are determined to mount a sustainable campaign against Casualisation. We have in place a committee on organizing witha mandate to mobilize and picket recalcitrant employers across the country.

“Today, we find it necessary to single out for mention, First Bank and UBA which are not ready to honour employment agreements or terms of settlements or respect our labour law, even as they post humongous profits, turned their staff into prostitutes or slaves. We want to assure that their obduracy will not pay them.”

Wabba regretted that the common practice in some of our sectors is to employ in deficit of the legal provisions which constitutes an offense.

“While we recognize the changing nature of work and its flexibility, we make bold to state that it is not the underlying reason for casualising workers in our shores.” He said.

He added: “In our view it is a combination of the disdain for our labour laws by employers, denial of responsibility, conspiracy, lack of capacity or readiness to enforce the law or the fawning over foreign direct investment, all of which are in violation of the principles of decent work.

“The casual worker is highly vulnerable because he or she is devalued, degraded, abused and reduced to something less valuable than a sponge case. They cannot belong to unions or benefit from collective bargaining agreements. They have no social security cover of any kind.”

Wabba pointed out that the Section 7 sub-section 1 of the Labour Act states that, ” Not later than three months after the beginning of a worker’s period of employment, the employer shall give to the worker a written statement specifying the terms and condition of employment.

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