By Esenvosa Izah
Lagos, Sept. 30, 2023
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says there is reason for hope in the country, in spite of the challenges that have beset it.
NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, said this in a statement on Saturday, on the commemoration of Nigeria’s Independence Day, marked on Oct. 1.
He urged Nigerians to mark the 2023 Independence Day with a renewed sense of purpose.
Ajaero charged them to acknowledge the past, confront the present challenges, and collectively work toward a brighter future for Nigeria.
According to him, Nigeria remains a nation with enormous potential.
“Our young and dynamic population, if properly empowered, can be the driving force behind our resurgence.
“It is imperative that we invest in education, skills development, and job creation to harness the untapped potential within our youth,” he said.
The labour leader also called on Nigerians to demand accountability from their leaders, adding that the days of impunity and unbridled corruption must come to an end.
He called on all Nigerians to actively participate in the democratic process, holding elected officials to the highest standards of integrity and performance.
“We must then in the spirit of this year’s independence go beyond questioning why we have found ourselves in the cesspool of poverty and despair.
“Also, we must build a determination to put a stop to this inexorable march to the cesspit and morass of excruciating pains and impoverishment.
“The citizens have a strong role to play in our collective quest for freedom from the shackles of mindless exploitation and pauperisation.
“Holding our leaders accountable is one of the very critical roles we must all play to free ourselves from the gyres of the oppressive forces of retrogression.
“It is the highest form of participation in the democratic space; if we cannot hold our leaders to account for every of their action then, we lose our democracy and we lose our nation.
“It therefore remains our patriotic duty for those that truly love our nation to rise at this time and speak truth to power.
“This is to ensure that the salvation of our nation becomes real and our people from the North, the West, South and the East are able to enjoy the full benefits of their “Nigerianness” which holds a great promise, “ Ajaero said.
The labour leader, while noting that NLC was the voice of Nigerian workers, said that it had tirelessly championed and would continue to champion the rights and welfare of Nigerian workers and people.
He said, however, that the numerous challenges that persisted could not be overlooked.
“Issues such as unfair labour practices, inadequate safety standards, and insufficient protection for workers continue to plague our labor force.
“It is imperative that we work together to address these issues and create an environment where every worker can thrive, “ he said.