President Goodluck Jonathan was at the National May Day rally, in Abuja and said Nigeria is not poor, but suffering from the distribution of wealth, as the main challenge facing the country.
Leaders of organised labour berated Nigerian politicians and political leaders for playing politics with the state of insecurity in the country.
The two labour centres while addressing workers and other guests, with theme, ‘Building Enduring Peace and Unity: Panacea for Sustainable National Development,’ insisted that, “we must all rise in unison, shoulder-to-shoulder and confront this common enemy once and for all. We are almost certain that if anyone was left in doubt about the universality of this war, the Nyanya bomb blast erased all of that.”
Both NLC and TUC also commented on the, economy, unemployment, poverty National Conference and alleged moves “some vested interests among the governors are mobilizing some delegates to force through the balkanisation of labour and the negation of a national minimum wage as currently enshrined in the constitution. It is certainly the machination of a few privilege few in position of powers at the expense of the teeming Nigerians. This is an attempt to keep Nigerians in perpetual slavery and servitude.”
They called on “Nigerian workers and the teeming well-meaning Nigerians to rise up against these retrogressive moves.”
Speaking to our correspondent at occasion, the Chairperson of Medical Health Workers Union (SDS), FCTA Branch, Asabe Precious Umar ( Assistant Director, Social Well-fair), said that despite what Nigeria’s are going, they still show resilience. She posited that May Day is an avenue for workers to encourage themselves. She informed our reporter that her union had the largest contingent at the rally with their trade-mark umbrellas. The union which is affiliated to NLC is made up of the following workers in the medical field; technical, social well-fair, and health workers at the grass-roots. She pleaded with God to arrest the abductors of the innocent school girls in Bornu State.
Another labour leader, Comrade Roslyn Uba-Anarah, the Chairperson of Nigerian Union of Civil Services Secretarial and Stenographic Workers (NUCSSASW), Federal Council, said the significance of May Day is the fact that the world recognizes the importance of laboures. According to her, the union was at the rally to show happiness that the contributions of labourers are being appreciated. The union is made up of confidential secretaries, data processing officers, official reporters (verbatim reporters) and secretarial assistants. The union has branches in all MDAs in the country.
Comrade Anarah revealed that the union was basically formed to agitate for and protect the well-fair and career progression of members. She also said the union is one of the female dominated professions after nursing.
The Chairman of NUHPSN, Transcorp Hilton Branch, Comrade Ochai Igba Friday who led his colleagues to the rally expressed happiness that despite what the country is going through the government recognizes the importance of the day to workers. He urged Nigerians to support the government so that the country will be better for everybody. He led our reporter into the activities in his organization – Transcorp Hilton Hotel. He said as the leader in the industry, the Hotel has made human capacity building its priority. According to him, the hotel makes it mandatory that every worker must attend series of trainings annually. He used the opportunity to inform our reporter that the hotel will host the world hotel forum this year, the first of its kind in West Africa.
Over 70 trade unions attended this year’s May Day rally at the Eagle Square, Abuja.