Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State has said that labour unions are dead in Nigeria, accusing them of being indifference to the incessant increment in pump price of petroleum products, electricity tariff and insecurity in the country.
He emphasized that labour movement in the country is dead because it has lost its force of engagement with government and hardly can achieve anything good for the generality of the workforce and Nigerians.
Governor Wike, who spoke today, March 12 at the inauguration of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Secretariat Building, in Ozuoba Town of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, observed that the leadership of labour has left substance to pursue shadows and hardly can speak in a manner that can change or achieve reversal of the many anti-people policies being implemented by the Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government.
Governor Wike said that under former President Goodluck Jonathan, the leadership of labour mobilized Nigeria workers against some of his policies because he is from a minority ethnic group, but have lost their voice under a majority tribe president.
“It is unfortunate that labour has abandoned their role in this country. You are chasing things that are personal to you. All over the world, when government is not going the right way, it is labour that comes out to say we cannot allow it. Majority of our people are civil servants and have others to cater for. But since the inception of this government, labour has died.
“Under Former President Goodluck Jonathan, labour was alive. They said the country must come down because he is from a minority area. But look at what is happening. There’s increase in fuel pump price, insecurity and increase of electricity tariff. Where is labour? Where is TUC, where is NLC? The only thing I hear is minimum wage.
“Let the world hear it, labour has died. Nigerians cannot get anything substantive from you. Labour is like an opposition party. Labour does not work for any ruling government, no. But now you people are working for ruling government, but under Jonathan, occupy Nigeria. And that is why we say there is so much injustice in this country. Because I come from a place, a minority area, you can treat me any how, but when you come from the other side nobody can touch you. That is not how this country should move forward. Be firm and take decision and know that was is wrong is wrong and let Nigerians have confidence in you.”
The inauguration of the TUC Secretariat Building was performed by the National President of TUC, Comrade Quadri Olaleye.