Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has claimed that both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) no longer have the capacity to represent the interest of the Nigerians after pulling out of the proposed strike to protest the hike in Petroleum and electricity tariff by the federal government. In a statement issued by the National Secretary, opposition Coalition CUPP, Chief Peter Ameh, the coalition insisted that it stands with the people on their demand for the reversal of increases in the pump price of PMS and electricity tariff.”When NLC and TUC came out about two weeks ago threatening fire and brimstone over the recent increases in the price of premium motor spirit (PMS) and electricity tariff, many Nigerians were very sceptical about their will power to carry out the strike action because of how unprotective of the masses the current leadership of both NLC and TUC have been since it came on board.
“NLC and TUC should know that the ordinary man on the street has lost confidence, trust, and faith in their ability to actually speak or act for them.
“NLC and TUC can not claim to be unaware of the suffocating and life-threatening suffering being experienced by the Nigerian people as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and then to add salt to the injury the government without consultation carried out an arbitrary increase on the price of PMS per litre and the cost of electricity tariff per unit simultaneously without any soft landing measures to cushion the effect of such increase on the masses.”That singular action has led to the exponential increase in the prices of transportation and other commodities. CUPP believes that NLC and TUC do not have the capacity to represent the interest of the Nigerian people and as such have no answer to these question.”The masses must develop the will to speak for themselves on these matters that are meant to enslave and imprison their conscience and destinies. We all know that all is not well in Nigeria, politically, economically and socially and this administration is still rolling out policies that will finally destroy the little fragment of life left with the masses while NLC and TUC refuse to act to protect the interest of the people.”If the NLC/TUC meant well for the people, they would have insisted on using the two weeks as opportunity for people to protest and voice out their grievances for the rulers to hear and know how to mend their ways rather than to use the two weeks to silence the people and devise ways to deceive us as usual.
“With the current transportation cost and high food prices and almost all due to fuel price increment,” the coalition noted in the statement.
Raising certain questions to NLC and TUC, the coalition asked: “Can any worker earning minimum wage of N30,000:00 afford to cope with hardship and difficulties heaped upon him/her as a result of these increases?”What has changed from the day NLC and TUC made a public announcement to embark on the strike action, how different is the promise of the current government from the promises made by the previous ones?.
“We as an organisation have always been advocates of the removal of fuel subsidy to free up funds for infrastructural development, but such removal must be done with consideration for the persons in the lowest rung of our society.
“NLC and TUC don’t need to be told that fuel price increase must have a diverse range of effects on transportation and commodities, etc in fact including productivity.
“We reject the action of NLC and TUC and both labour centres must reinvent themselves and start to act in the interest of Nigerians who need them at time like this,” the statement read.