As Nigeria celebrates 18 years of democracy, today, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked Nigerians to hold political office holders accountable.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said besides the fact that it is Democracy Day, May 29 reminds Nigerians that they are on a democratic journey.
“The truth is that 18 years of democracy has come with very sparse rewards for the Nigerian people.
“This day avails us a great opportunity to demand for accountability from our leaders, especially governors, and also, from ourselves; as citizens of a great country that has potential to be greater.”
Wabba reasoned that while the country celebrates democracy’s irreplaceable gift of freedom, liberty and popular representation, “the truth remains that democracy has served the political class and not the average Nigerian.
“Unfortunately, those we elected to serve as democratic leaders have not only turned around to serve themselves but continue to exploit every given opportunity to turn the rest of us into paupers in our own land. Besides the frequent, unlawful dipping of fingers into the public till, everything including salaries, pensions, perquisites, ways and means, are skewed in their favour; to the exclusion of workers.
“For us, in the Labour movement, a democracy that does not allocate resources in such a manner that ensures equity, justice and sustained national development or cohesion is beggarly.Despite escalating costs of living, devaluation of the naira and general hardship in the land, the Nigerian worker is still forced to survive on N18,000 as minimum wage; with not a few states owing backlog of salaries and pensions.
“While pensioners in not a few states wallow in misery and unimaginable suffering, the members of the political elite led by state governors as a matter of ‘law’ and policy, take in advance whopping severance packages to which they are not entitled in the first place.”