Sowore: NLC Has Lost Credibility To Fight For Nigerian Workers’ Interests

Human Rights Campaigner and Politician, Omoyele Sowore has emphatically stated that the Nigerian Labour Congress has done a great damage to its image and has lost its credibility as a union that fights for the interest of Nigerian workers.

Speaking in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Sunday, Sowore expressed disappointment in the inability of the NLC to see through the 2-day planned protest against economic hardship in the country.

“First thing is to recognize that the NLC has been weakened substantially by its own making to the point of ‘see finish’. They don’t respect them anymore and I told the leadership that they have to revive that union. People must trust the NLC again and I think that is the reason the president was throwing jabs at them, saying you are not the only voice of the people, you know, just ridiculing them because over time the NLC has also done a great damage to its image and credibility as a labour union that fights for the interest of workers.

“It was a surprise to us that we planned two days of protest, we were not even contacted when they decided to call it off. I was disappointed because I was a little bit hesitant to participate because of this whole repetitional issue.

“I had met the president and we agreed and he told me that nothing will stop the protest but it is just so sad that even the civil society on its own has to wait for Labour to be able to enter the street. I think that is what we have to resolve; not to always be waiting for labour because the government itself knows that Labour will call off the strike. They already had the TUC pulled out.”

He also urged civil society to develop a plan to confront issues, rather than always waiting for Labour.

 “The lesson to learn from there is that civil society on its own must develop the capacity to go out on their own to confront hardship. So, we need a broad-based coalition involving labour that will take on the problem heads on. As far as labour is concerned, this is the best you can get from them for now.

“Even the NANS of today is an affiliate of the federal government. NANS leaders of today wants to travel on presidential jets. They don’t even hide it. Part of the biggest problems this country has faced overtime is that those who are supposed to lead this country through liberation, are aspiring to be like the oppressors themselves.”

Meanwhile, while reacting to the implementation of the Oronsaye report, the former Presidential candidate said cutting down on the cost of governance would have to start with the ‘serious organs of government’ and not the MDA level.

“I am not interested in this oronsaye report. The truth is that if you want to cut down on the cost of governance in Nigeria, you cannot be doing it at the MD level, it has to be fundamental and that is why I am opposed to the Nigerian military-imposed 1999 constitution. If you want to cut down the cost of governance, go after the serious organs of government.

 “I have proposed that we should have a unicameral legislative system. Only the senate is enough; otherwise, all these people that you have in the house of reps are just contractors and extortionists. They are doing nothing. That alone will give you an extra 1.2 to 1.3 trillion naira shed off of the government. Tinubu has the largest ministerial pull in recent history. Does that person look like he is willing to cut down the cost of governance?”

Chioma Kalu