NLC Alleges Plot to Clamp down on Govt’s Critics

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has raised the alarm over what it described as orchestrated plan to discourage progressive and patriotic voices speaking out against rising insecurity in the country.

The congress said even the blind know that the resurgence of insecurity in the country has taken very extreme dimensions.

It lamented that many communities in the North-east and North-west geo-political zones in Nigeria have been deserted owing to the prevailing insecurity ravaging the regions.

According to NLC, “The lives of our fellow compatriots, many of whom are workers, have been turned into a living hell due to the protracted security challenges in the country. So many lives, families, dreams and prospects have been torn apart, and many people have been inflicted with scars that may never heal throughout their life time. Still some people want Nigerians to be quiet. No way, that won’t happen.”

In a statement issued yesterday by NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, the labour movement warned that it would not hesitate to expose those playing politics with the lives of ordinary Nigerians being wasted on a daily basis.

The NLC statement read: “It has come to the notice of the NLC that efforts are on by some faceless groups to politicise, discredit, discourage and demobilise credible, progressive and patriotic voices speaking out courageously on the rising insecurity across the country.

“We once again call on the president to rejig the security apparatus in the country. We need to try new tactics and new capable hands. Enough of the bloodshed already! We refuse to be reduced to a land of blood, tears, misery, fears and pains. Nigerians will not be cowed!”

NLC said the Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Zulum, and other well-meaning Nigerians had recently come under scathing attacks by “hired gongs and masked town criers whose penchant is to play the ostrich on behalf of their sponsors while Rome burns.”

The labour body also said there have been reports of statements purportedly issued by the military high command warning state governors against criticising the military over its handling of the resurgence of insecurity all over the country.

It stated that if it is true that such statements truly emanated from an institution that is supposed to be under the sovereignty of the people as reposed on elected democratic leadership at all levels, “then it is quite unfortunate.

“While saluting the gallantry and sacrifice by members of our Armed Forces, it is important to note that no person or institution is beyond constructive criticism, especially by the people they claim to serve. Under this democratic dispensation, no person carries the weight of the expectations, hopes and aspirations of the people than their elected leaders.

“Any attempt to belittle or dismiss their mandate would be tantamount to undermining the will of the Nigerian people, our democratic foundations and our sovereignty as a state.

“We wish to warn meddlesome interlopers whose stock in trade is to sing for attention or to perform for the highest bidder to desist from aggravating the hurt in the minds of many Nigerians, especially those in the conflict zones who live everyday as if it is their last day.

“Even when the corpse of another person resembles a log of wood, our humanity must evoke some empathy with the suffering, the wounded and the grieving, otherwise we would be worse than the dead.

“The NLC will not hesitate to expose those playing politics with the lives of ordinary Nigerians being wasted on daily basis.”