…Says indefinite nationwide strike, march to freedom
By Abiodun OBA
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has emphasized that it remains “our patriotic duty for those that truly love our nation to rise at this time and speak truth to power to ensure that the salvation of our nation becomes real”.
The Union called in a message titled ‘Nigeria: The Travails of a Mismanaged Giant’ to mark the nation’s 63rd independence anniversary’.
NLC President, Joe Ajaero, decried the erosion of ethical governance, rampant corruption and political instability which has defined the nation 63 years after, and regretted that the decades have been marked by a series of missteps, mismanagement and missed opportunities.
Ajaero regretted that instead of the country harnessing its potential for the collective good, the leaders were only concerned about their interests, leaving the masses to grapple with the consequences.
The NLC Chief Messenger submitted that to bring Nigeria out of the woods, the nation needs men and women who could rise and save it from those who have captured it and are using its levers just for their selfish ends without any care at all about the workers, the unemployed and the suffering.
According to him, Nigeria needs men and women who will deliver the citizens from the galloping powers of neo-colonialism, especially their internal collaborators, who rule the nation at their behest without a care about the consequences of their actions for millions of citizens.
Ajaero emphasized that it remains “our patriotic duty for those that truly love our nation to rise at this time and speak truth to power to ensure that the salvation of our nation becomes real and our people from the North, the West, South and the East can enjoy the full benefits of their “Nigerianness” which holds a great promise”.
He urged all national gatekeepers, especially traditional rulers, to plead with the government to lift the burden on the people.
Noting that it was time for Nigeria to rise and shine once more as a beacon of hope and prosperity for all its citizens, Ajaero said it was important the citizens acknowledge their past, confront their present challenges and collectively work towards a brighter future for Nigeria.
“Together, we can reclaim the greatness that has eluded us for too long. It is time for Nigeria to rise and shine once more as a beacon of hope and prosperity for all its citizens. Remember, when we stand as one refusing to be divided, we will triumph! We call on all Nigerians to join us on the third day of October around Nigeria to begin our march to freedom through the indefinite nationwide strike,” he said.
The NLC chief said there was a need for the citizens to build the needed coalition to make the nation truly an independent nation.
“This nation can work for all of us! This nation can be made beautiful but good things do not just happen; they are worked out. Liberty is not a ripe fruit that falls to the ground on its own accord. With our hands joined together as the owners of Nigeria, in truth and one heart, we can work for our freedom. Let us awaken this giant and make it work for us,” he added.
Ajaero recalled how the world watched in awe as a nation endowed with abundant human and natural resources took its place on the global stage when Nigeria gained independence on October 1, 1960.
“With a thriving agricultural sector, burgeoning industries, and a diverse and vibrant populace, Nigeria held immense promise. The spirit of unity and hope that characterised those early years was palpable, and it seemed that we were poised for greatness,” he said.
As the nation celebrates its 63rd independence anniversary today, Ajaero noted: “It is important that we draw our attention to the fact that this nation was once a great nation filled with great hope inspired by great leaders until inept and corrupt leaders took over the helms of affairs and ran the country aground. The crisis of leadership is truly the crisis of our national development. The continued mismanagement of our resources has made it difficult for us a nation and as a people to make sustainable progress rather, we have continued to march backwards with every preceding year looking worse than the previous one.
“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 and 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 one of their actions, 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 to ensure that the salvation of our nation becomes real and our people from the North, the West, South and the East can enjoy the full benefits of their “Nigerianness” which holds a great promise.”