Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has urged labour leaders in the country to protect the interests of Nigerians, especially their members against government’s anti-people policies, saying; “Labour leaders must not allow the welfare of the people to be compromised.”
Governor Fayose, who was speaking against the backdrop of the plan by the federal government to increase petrol pump price from N87 to N97 per litre, remove fuel subsidy, increase electricity tariffs, retrench thousands of workers, reduce N18, 000 minimum wage, introduce toll gate, among others, said, “If labour leaders do not stand up for the people at this time as they have done in the past, posterity will not forgive them.”
In a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said he was particularly worried over the silence of labour leaders on the two months fuel scarcity in the country, which the federal government appeared not to have any ready solution to.
The governor, who reminded the labour leaders of how they led their members to protest when fuel price was increased by the Dr Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2012, added that, “No matter the political party in government, labours unions must stand by their members in particular and the people in general.”
He said: “When they were seeking for votes from Nigerians, they promised to reduce petrol pump price to from N87 to N45 per litre, they promised to create three million jobs per year, they said $1 will be equal to N1 and above all, they promised to pay unemployed youths N5,000 stipend and provide one meal a day to pupils nationwide.
“However, thousands of Nigerians have lost their jobs in the last six months, while millions of jobs are to be lost next year, particularly in the construction sector and banking sector where mergers and acquisitions of banks have become imminent.
“Even the federal government that promised three million employments per year is already sacking workers with over 2,000 university workers retrenched.
“Most importantly, President Muhammadu Buhari himself is telling Nigerians to prepare for hardships in year 2016, with no effort being made by the federal government to mitigate the effects of the impending hardships.
“The labour movement must therefore be prepared to stand up for the people, making sure that the welfare of the workers is not compromised by the government.”
While maintaining that democracy was being threatened under the APC government of President Buhari, Governor Fayose said “a lot of infringements are being done to our democratic process and all lovers of democracy must be worried, especially about the inconclusive elections held under the present government.”