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NLC COMMENDS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR HONOURING THE MEMORIES OF MKO ABIOLA AND OTHER HEROES OF THE JUNE 12 STRUGGLE

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NLC COMMENDS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR HONOURING THE MEMORIES OF MKO ABIOLA AND OTHER HEROES OF THE JUNE 12 STRUGGLE

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) commends the Federal Government for officially recognizing the June 12, 1993 Presidential election as a very important political watershed in Nigeria. The official declaration of June 12 as a national public holiday in commemoration of Nigeria’s Democracy Day deserves the applause of all Nigerians of goodwill. This gesture by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is commendable for its courage and thoughtfulness as it conveys significant democratic lessons.

First, this recognition is coming after the refusal of successive governments to accord the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, his due place in Nigeria’s history, despite years of agitation and struggle by pro-democracy activists. There is no doubt that the honour done to Chief MKO and other heroes of the June 12 struggle particularly Chief Gani Fawehinmi, though belated, speak volumes of the role of government in modelling good democratic practices and recognizing heroism as a cornerstone of our political evolution. The honour done to the memories of MKO and other heroes of the June 12 struggle is a worthy restitution for their selfless and supreme sacrifice.

Second, June 12 has grown beyond the person of Chief MKO Abiola. It has become synonymous with our capacity as a people to rise above ethnic and religious sentiments to recruit political leadership strictly on the basis of antecedence, performance and issue-based political considerations. The fact that Chief MKO Abiola and Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe; both Muslims, enjoyed popular acceptance across the geo-political zones of Nigeria deals a cruel gavel on the aspirations of many politicians of today to divide and conquer us on the basis of where we come from and how we choose to worship. June 12 instructs all Nigerians to continue to say no to agents of divisive and damaging politics.

Third, June 12 signposts our capacity for noble democratic behaviour. The June 12 1993 election was conducted without the violence, bloodshed, and acrimony that have always characterized elections in Nigeria particularly political parties’ primaries which have been turned into “do or die” and “cash and carry” contests. The role of the Nigeria Labour Congress in speaking out against such undemocratic conducts is best exemplified in our rallying stance against the failed 2007 general election where the NLC led the struggle for electoral reforms. The public admission by the then President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua led government that the electoral process that brought it to power was fundamentally flawed and the subsequent establishment of the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Committee, which the NLC was part of, remain milestones that are deserving of the foundation of June 12.

While we commend the Federal Government for honouring the contributions of Chief MKO Abiola, Chief Gani Fawehinmi and Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe to the deepening of our democratic culture, we however object to the choice of “presumed winner” in describing the victory of MKO at the 1993 presidential elections. Since there has never been any contestation about the victory of MKO Abiola at the 1993 polls, it is only logical and honourable to expunge the use of “presumed winner” from official and reportorial narrative of the cruel annulment of June 12, 1993 election. In any case, government’s recent action in honoring Chief MKO Abiola makes irrelevant the use of the word “presumed” in describing his victory at the 1993 presidential polls.

Nigerian workers enjoin the Federal Government to honour Nigerians who suffered enormous discomfort, state persecution and even paid the supreme price on the account of the June 12 struggle. The construction of a June 12 Cenotaph in the honour of these Nigerians would go a long way in institutionalizing the lessons of June 12.

Finally, June 12 looms larger than the symbolic official commemoration. We urge the Federal Government to demonstrate complete affinity with the ideals of June 12 by removing all obstacles to free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria. This can be best achieved by fully implementing the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Committee Report and enforcement of provisions in our Electoral Act that criminalize violence, vote buying and other fraudulent practices and places a ceiling on political campaign financing.

Signed

Comrade Solomon Adelegan

Acting President

7th June, 2018

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GNC Meeting: I was not part of this Meeting

My attention has been drawn to a story by Sahara Reporters entitled 2019: Soyinka, Agbakoba, Labour Leaders Endorse Grand National Coalition in which it was reported that I was one of those that endorsed the grand coalition.

I have found it necessary to issue an immediate and emphatic rebuttal to the story by the Sahara Reporters that I, Ayuba Wabba, mni, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress have endorsed or was part of a meeting that “endorsed the Grand National Coalition (GNC) of the National Intervention Movement”.

The communique said to be signed by “Mr Naseer Kura, Deputy Director General of the new political movement”, on which the Sahara Reporters relied, misrepresented the facts.

I would want to state clearly that neither Ayuba Wabba, nor the Nigeria Labour Congress nor the Labour Party is part of or affiliated to the National Intervention Movement.

There is a clear procedure for affiliating, endorsing or consorting with any social or political group outside the Nigeria Labour Congress.

To the best of my knowledge, the issue of affiliating, endorsing or consorting with NIM was not debated in any of our organ meetings or the Labour Party.

This is without prejudice to the right of any individual or individuals to exercise in their favour, the right of freedom of association as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

In spite of my respect for the individuals who attended the said meeting, I wish to state categorically that I have not been attending the meetings of NIM, neither was I at the said meeting from which the Communique in question emanated.

Thus, clearly, Sahara Reporters and other media houses were misled.

Nigerians will be told in no uncertain terms when, I, Ayuba Wabba, mni or the Nigeria Labour Congress or the Labour Party join NIM or endorse the Grand National Coalition.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni

President

LATEST NEWS + EVENTS, NEWS FROM THE UNIONS

NLC celebrates her 40 years Anniversary

“The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has come a long way in the past 40 years. The journey has not been on a smooth road paved with gold and lined with roses; rather it has been a rough road of intense struggles, often smeared with sweat and blood, to protect and advance the collective interests of the Nigerian workers, as well as, more generally, the overall interests of the Nigerian people”
– Prof. Attahiru Jega in his lecture titled “Labour, Politics and Governance in Nigeria” currently being delivered at the opening events of the commemoration of NLC’s 40th anniversary at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

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NLC @ 40: NLC Kwara state chapter urges Ahmed to pay LG workers

Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Kwara State, Alhaji Yakeen Agunbiade, on Friday pleaded with the state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, to address all issues relating to the salaries of local government workers and entitlements of pensioner

Agunbiade spoke during the opening session of the 40th anniversary of the NLC in Ilorin,

Read more :http://capital.http://punchng.com/kwara-nlc-urges-ahmed-to-pay-lg-workers/

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NLC @ 40 Church thanks Giving Celebration led by the National President and General Secretary

“The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has come a long way in the past 40 years. The journey has not been on a smooth road paved with gold and lined with roses; rather it has been a rough road of intense struggles, often smeared with sweat and blood, to protect and advance the collective interests of the Nigerian workers, as well as, more generally, the overall interests of the Nigerian people”
– Prof. Attahiru Jega in his lecture titled “Labour, Politics and Governance in Nigeria” currently being delivered at the opening events of the commemoration of NLC’s 40th anniversary at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.