Posted by Garba Ahmad, Kaduna | 9 May 2013 | 4,058 times
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to demonstrate that he is still in charge of the country or resign.
Vice President of the NLC, Comrade Issa Aremu, made the request today at a rally organised by the NLC in Kaduna, North-West Nigeria.
He said all the state governors, regardless of party affiliation, must come together and solve the problem of insecurity in the country.
The NLC, Aremu said, would never support any force that was out to undermine the unity of Nigeria because the union’s idea is to build a much bigger and united Nigeria.
Hear him: “There cannot be sustainable development without peace; the President must sit up. Today governors are fighting the President and the President is also fighting the governors. Have you ever heard them fighting over closed industries? See what is happening in Bama and Baga – not even during the civil war did we have this kind of problem. Jonathan needs to go to the House and address us on the state of the nation. He was in South Africa where he addressed them without letting us know what is happening at home. The President must show us that he is in charge otherwise he should resign.”
The NLC chief told President Jonathan to assure Nigerians that he is fully in charge by calling to order the likes of Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari whose comments could incite and cause problem in the country.
On industry issues, Aremu expressed dismay over the continued closure of Kaduna Textile Limited (KTL) since 2002 and called on the northern state governors to reopen the company.
He said more worrisome was the continuous delay in settlement of entitlement of the KTL workers by its owners – the 19 northern states of the federation.
The KTL workers, Aremu said, are suffering untold hardship due no non-payment of their benefits since the unilateral closure of the factory in 2002,
He said: “The union since December 2005 obtained a court judgment for settlement of the entitlement of the workers amounting to N687,073,346. Unfortunately, the management and owners of the company,19 northern states, have remained insensitive to the plight of these workers in spite of repeated appeals, prayers, rallies and protest by the union.”
“In March 2013, the NGF set up a Committee of 5 Governors headed by the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, with Governors of Zamfara, Kano, Bauchi and Borno states as members. The Committee was mandated to look at KTL and proffer recommendations on the way forward. The report of the committee is yet to see the light of the day.
“The Union also visited the Chairman of the Board of KTL, Gen. Wushishi (rtd), in March 2013 on the way forward, when the company would re-open or when the workers entitlements would be paid, but he could not give a concrete response.”
NLC equally called on the management of other closed textile factories in the North particularly Arewa Textiles Plc and Gaskiya Textiles Kano to settle the entitlements of their workers without further delay.
“Urgent settlement of entitlements of these workers will go a long way in reducing their burden and alleviating their increasing destitution, poverty and desperation capable of causing communal and industrial harmony,” Aremu said.
•Photo shows President Jonathan.
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