Kuni Tyessi, Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to give trouble to Nigeria’s political class for failing to fix Nigeria’s health sector, while they run to other countries to access quality healthcare services.
The congress said it will achieve this by mobilising its counterparts in over 163 countries to frustrate Nigerian political elite who embezzle the country’s resources and run to other countries.
The NLC President, Ayuba Waba, gave the indication when the officials of the Medical and Health Workers Union, led by its president, Josiah Biobelemoye, gave him a surprise reception at Nnamdia Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, when returning from Denmark, recently.
The NLC President was at the meeting in Denmark, where he was elected president of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
ITUC is the largest trade union federation in the world and represents 207 million workers across the globe with 331 labour centres in 163 countries.
Waba is the first African to be elected president of ITUC. The election is for a term of four years.
Waba said: “Initially we are struggling alone, but now we have over 163 countries that we can be able to give them instruction and they will extend solidarity to Nigerian workers.
“It is also high time our politicians, looters and elites realise that once they loot our resources, we are going to liaise with the airport workers, once they are leaving the country to the next destination, they should be sure that we will mobilise people to turn them back.
“They must stay here and fix our economy and make Nigeria to work. Therefore, having 207 million workers under the banner of the ITUC and giving us the mandate to provide leadership for them, it means that it will be well for all Nigerian workers and those issues that have made us slaves in our own country must continue to receive appropriate attention.”
While insisting that the political elite should either fix the health sector or face more trouble in the years ahead, the NLC President said: “When they go outside this country without fixing our healthcare and they want to go and access quality healthcare, we will tell our counterparts out there also, if they go with headache, they will come back with hypertension because that is not what we expect.”
While vowing that the NLC will fight the recent introduction of no work, no pay policy by the federal government to a stand-still, Waba noted that such policy has no place in modern industrial relations.
He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “actually give space and consultation. Let him not only hear from one side, from those his appointees, that in most cases have failed in their responsibilities.
“He should also hear the perspectives of the unions and the workers, then he will realize that where the truth lies is where the workers are standing.”