(Wole Balogun, ADO EKITI)
Renowned legal icon, Aare Afe Babalola, has condemned the incessant use of strike action by Nigerian workers to settle industrial disputes. Babalola called on all employers of labour, especially the three tiers of government to strategize on measures that would reduce causes of such trade disputes with their staff by giving them their benefits on time.
Babalola spoke at the weekend in Ado Ekiti while performing the foundation laying ceremony of “Nurses House”at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital,(EKSUT), Ado Ekiti said workers must learn to be moderate and realistic in their agitation .
With particular reference to medical doctors and nurses, Babalola said these category of workers are not even expected to go on strike at all, considering the fact that their job is centred on saving lives.
According to him, the uncontrolled use of strike in the country was fast alluding to the impression that Nigeria was not ripe for independence.
“We abuse everything in Nigeria including strike, the way strike is often applied in this country is far from the way it is carried out in places like Europe, it is like we are not ripe for independence
“Workers hardly go on strike in Europe, no matter what, and when there is the need to do so, such strike action does not last more than two hours before they return back to their work”,he said.
He urged Nigerian workers, especially nurses to embrace habit of self-development by pursuing on-the-job higher degrees to enhance their competence and further their future job opportunities.
Babalola who narrated how he suffered as child of poor parents to get himself educated up to university level through correspondence studies, blamed lack of progress and outstanding success among most Nigerian youths of today on their visionless and missionless lifestyle.
“I grew up in poverty but I had a target and plan that I would make it in life and here I am today, this however cannot be said of many of our present day youths who live without setting targets”,he said.
Babalola promised to see to the early completion of the nurses building project despite the current economic recession in the country.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Chairman of the EKSUTH Unit of Nurses and Midwives Association, Mrs Olufunke Adetoye said the “Nurses Building” to be named after Afe babalola was in recognition of his service to humanity, promotion of education as well as philanthropic activities all over Nigeria.
She said when completed, the building which will have E-library, Creche and Mini Mart would serve as the secretariat of the association and meeting place for congress, workshops and seminars.