NLC Slams SGF’s ‘Treasonable Felons’ Remarks, Demands Retraction

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has strongly condemned the recent comments made by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) regarding the nationwide strike embarked upon by the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

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In a press release, the NLC expressed “profound disappointment” at the SGF’s characterization of the “legitimate and constitutionally protected industrial action” as a “treasonable felony” and “economic sabotage.”

The NLC highlighted that its demands, which include the conclusion and signing into law of a new national minimum wage, a reversal of the hike in electricity tariff, and an end to the discriminatory classification of electricity consumers, are “clear and just,” rooted in the need for economic justice and fairness for all Nigerian workers and citizens.

The labor union went on to state that the “real Economic saboteurs who commit treasonable felony” are those involved in looting the treasury, diverting public resources, foreign exchange round-tripping, padding of budgets, and inflating contracts, rather than the “innocent workers” who have chosen to withdraw their services due to the “inhuman treatment meted out to them by the Government.”

The NLC also took issue with the SGF’s assertion that he cannot afford to pay each of his four drivers N100,000 monthly, describing it as a “stark reminder of the disconnect between the government and the realities faced by ordinary Nigerians.” The union suggested that the SGF’s remarks demonstrate that he “pays his personal staff starvation wages” and may be “telling us that he is a slave master.”

Calling on the SGF to retract his “regrettable statements,” the NLC urged the government to engage in “genuine dialogue” and address the “legitimate concerns of Nigerian workers,” free from “threats and intimidation.” The union expressed concern over the presence of military personnel during the previous negotiation exercise, stating that it was a “clear violation of our rights and an intimidation tactic that has no place in a democratic society.”

The NLC reaffirmed its commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of all Nigerian workers and vowed to continue pursuing its demands through all legitimate means available.

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