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Address Rising Insecurity Now, NLC Tells Buhari

Organised Labour has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently take necessary steps to check the upsurge in killings, abductions, kidnappings and other crimes in the country.

Apparently lending support to the move by the governors from the South West zone to set up a security outfit known as Amotekun, NLC said the clamour for regional security was as a result of deteriorating insecurity in the country.

While addressing the meeting of the National Administrative Council (NAC) of the congress on Tuesday, NLC president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said that although the administrationn of President Muhammadu Buhari recorded impressive performance in tackling Boko Haram insurgency and insecurity shortly after assumption of office in 2015, the situation appears to have deteriorated, thus requiring immediate intervention.

He said the Boko Haram insurgents had relentlessly been hitting soft and military targets on a scale and regularity that makes one wonder if the gains of the past have not been reversed or wiped out.

“We seem to have come full circle. And all segments of our society including the National Assembly are agreed that time has come for new thinking, new strategies and hard decisions. Accordingly, we urge Mr President to make decisive decisions to reverse the current ugly narrative! We must rein in now the desperate elements and disparate forces in the land that threaten to overwhelm us,” he said.

Wabba said The NLC president said because of the worrisome situation, every right thinking Nigerian had reason to be concerned, adding that ” the controversial Amotekun was a regional response to relentless killings, abductions, kidnappings and other crimes in the South West”.

Speaking on the security threat posed by the resurging activities of the insurgents and bandits, Wabba said the terrorists had virtually held Borno state hostage, unleashing terror and mayhem on the military and civil populace.

He said: “For example, at a stage, all the access roads leading to Maiduguri were taken over by the insurgents often dressed in military fatigues. Bus loads of commuters were either abducted or slaughtered. From their fall-back positions, the insurgents seized the initiative unleashing terror and mayhem on our military and civil populace.

“In a triumphal act of devious ingenuity, they yanked off Maiduguri and its environs from the national grid, plunging the place not only into darkness but causing a major disruption.

Today, major access roads to Maiduguri are still under occupation by Boko Haram who unleash terror on hapless civilians and retreating military.

“This is not hearsay because the facts are very much in the open on a daily basis. Moreover, we have our members (NULGE, NURTW, MHWUN, NUT, Nurses, ASUU, etc) spread across the state, some of whom have been victims”.

Wabba also said that there were renewed killings in the North Central, in particular, Plateau and Benue. People travel on the highways at their own risk.

The NLC president also spoke on the position of labour with refarda to safety of pension funds, casualisation of labour and the minimum wage.

He said that NLC was opposed to the recent approval by the National Economic Council permiting the Federal Government to borrow N2 trillion from the pension funds presently put at 10 trillion to finance the development of national infrastructure.

He said that government should realize that the contributory pension scheme which came into being in 2004 is fully funded by workers and employers and that its privately managed by Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs).

“It is curious that Labour as a critical stakeholder as provided in the act were not consulted. It is equally a violation of provision of the Pension Act 5 years down the line, the board of PENCOM statutorily saddled with taking or approving decisions as weighty as this has not been constituted,” he said.

Wabba said one of the concerns of labour was that at the moment, government’s indebtedness to pensions in accrued rights, pension differentials, minimum pension guaranty, pension increase, was in excess of N400 billion.

“We strongly advise Federal Government to shelve its plan and not to do anything that will undermine the integrity of the pension scheme. We will continue to watch over the safety of the funds to protect the interest of workers and pensioners,” he said.


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