The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on stakeholders to interrogate the issues causing insecurity in the country and finding a lasting solution to the menace.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President made the call at the 2nd National Peace Security Summit with the theme, ”Overcoming the Siege of Insecurity in Nigeria: Imperative of Human and Physical Security” on Thursday in Abuja.
Wabba said that the organised labour had the responsibility to represent and defend not only the interest of workers but also national interest that bothers on national security.
”This peace summit is to interrogate the issues causing insecurity and find a lasting solution that can take the country out of the woods of insecurity sooner or later.
”This summit is taking place against the backdrop of increase in criminality as occasioned by terrorism, banditry and all sheds of criminality including, kidnaping, abduction, and killing of our citizens.
”In the North East, Boko Haram insurgency is yet to be completely addressed, in the North Central, there is the farmers-herders conflict, and also the issue of kidnapping, in the South-South and South East.
”There is the recent issue of criminals attacking armed forces and the police and carting away their ammunitions and in the North West.
“The situation is compounded with bandits sacking communities at will and taking over villages,” he said.
Wabba expressed the organised labour’s sympathy to the families over the death of five undergraduates of the Green Peace University in Kaduna State, who were murdered by the bandits.
He, however, noted that the Chibok girls and the girl, Leah Sharibu, were still held in captivity by their captors.
“We therefore demand that there should be minimum requirement in terms of arms and ammunitions, in terms of technology deployment and in terms of welfare,” he said.
The NLC president also noted that the temperament of the summit was supported by the International Labour Organisation recommendation 2015 that deals with empowerment and employment for decent work for peace and resilience.
“This recognises the importance of decent work, promoting peace, preventing crisis situation arising from conflict and disaster, enabling recovery and building resilience.
“Recommendation 205 recognises that there can be no sustainable peace and security without respect for human rights and rule of law.
”Including respect for fundamental principles and right at work and International labour standards.
“The summit is also looking at how best to support the armed forces in the prosecution of the anti-terrorism war.
”However, we are concerned about recent plans to relocate the U.S. African Command from Germany to Nigeria.
“We welcome intelligence sharing and ammunitions support to our armed forces, we warn that it will be counterproductive to replace our army with foreign soldiers.
”Nigerian Armed Forces are capable of surmounting the insecurity challenge if they are supported with adequate funds and technological equipment,” Wabba added.
He, however, called on political leaders to take responsibility for the actions they took while in office.
He added that, there is a nexus between throwing workers out of their jobs and the resultant increase in unemployment and rising wave of insecurity.
He noted that the present high state of insecurity in Kaduna state had a lot to do with the penchant by the state government for throwing workers out of jobs.
”As we speak, from 2016 to date, over 29,000 workers have been thrown out of their jobs in Kaduna state and also tuition fees in Kaduna state have been increased by 100 percent.
”What this means is that many children of the poor workers will not be able to attend good schools while the children of the rich are sent to study outside the country.
”The implication is that these children who dropped out of school will now be used by bad elements to perpetrate insecurity in the country.
We call on the governor of Kaduna state to rescind the decision urgently, ”he said.
The former Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomole, alleged that the over 35,000 workers recently sacked by Kaduna State government has played a major role in contributing to the current insecurity experienced in the state.
Oshiomole alleged that the children that have been abandoned by the society are now grown up and turned against the society for turning their back on them.
The former APC Chairman, said that security should not only be looked from the aspect of what the military and police can do to restore peace rather it should also be tackled from the issue of security of wages and jobs.
Oshiomole also queried why the Lawmakers would prescribe N30, 000 as minimum wage and some governors for some reasons would sit and insist that the amount cannot be paid.
“When they deny workers such payment, can there be peace. I summit with International Labour Organisation that the condition for national peace and security does not necessarily need much bullet but decent jobs,” he said.
Also speaking, the Secretary of Government to the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha commended the NLC for organizing the conference.
He said the choice of the theme of this summit was to underscore the importance of government and labour working together for the common good of the Nigerian people.
Mustapha, therefore, said government and labour interaction would constantly be needed to seek ways to improving the best for the country.
“I want to thank the NLC for creating this avenue and which is very important, as we begin to think and find solutions to all that are bedeviling us and we must find solutions,” Mustapha added.(NAN)