‘We await them in 2019’
By Moses John
The governors’ decision to remain adamant on payment of workers’ salaries amounts to selling their conscience, the Trade Union Congress has declared.
Th e union’s position followed Tuesday’s lamentation of President Muhammadu Buhari, who reiterated his discomfort with the manner governors were treating their workforce even after several bailouts and other interventions from the centre.
Castigating the governors in a statement yesterday, TUC President and General Secretary, Comrade Bobbio Kaigama and Lawal Musa respectively, said though the workers believed in the Buhari government, he “alone cannot do it.
” The Congress said governors and other political office holders preferred foreigners to Nigerian workers and their dependants, hence the reasons, according to them, political office holders stockpiled money for 2019 general elections.
He, however, assured that Nigerian workers would surprise politicians in 2019 “because it is not going to be business as usual.
” “The confidence we had when this administration was coming on board has gradually waned.
We believe in the president but he alone cannot do it.
Efforts to fight corruption have become a mirage.
“Experts have argued that one way recession can be addressed is when the wage of workers is increased; unfortunately the last wage increase we had was in 2011.
Though due for review, but some forces who take delight in using our children as political thugs have refused.
They want the status quo to remain- (master-servant relationship).
“They tell us that the economy is in recession yet it does not affect them.
The governors are stockpiling the released funds somewhere waiting for 2019 election campaign, but we are going to surprise them.
It is not going to be business as usual.
“Nigeria’s case has become that of one-day one-trouble-kind of.
Only last week, some ministers made case for ‘No Work No Pay’ doctrine.
Their argument was that they want to check the public service workers in the country.
“Just imagine: how do you tell a worker that has not been paid for six months to continue to borrow to fare himself or herself to job? How do you explain it that a country that is broke still pays twitter lawmakers each over N29 million on a monthly basis.
This is inhuman, wicked, derogatory and devilish.
” On governors’ demand for the balance of 50 per cent Paris Club refund, the workers charged the federal government to hold on to the money until the workers and pensioners were fully paid.
They further commended Buhari for telling governors the ‘gospel truth’ on how he felt about their failure to pay salaries and pensions despite the federal government’s interventions.
The labour leaders lamented the workers’ plight in the states, saying most of them could barely survive.
“For us, President Muhammadu Buhari was right when he expressed surprise on how some governors manage to sleep soundly when workers have not been paid their salaries for months.
“The president even wondered how the workers feed their families; pay their rents and the school fees of their children.