The Nigeria Labour Congress on Thursday decried the attitude of Nigeria’s leaders to workers, lamenting that the plight of the poor and the downtrodden were never their concern.
The NLC made the claim through its National President, Mr Ayuba Waba, who paid a courtesy visit to Plateau State governor Simon Lalong in Jos.
“We have always directed workers to support every government, but some leaders make that just impossible,” he stated.
He accused many leaders of abandoning the workers, saying that the fate of the labourer was always the last in the order of priorities.
Waba, however, urged the workers to always stand by the truth and give sincere advice to those in authority “without any fear”.
“A cardinal principle of labour is to promote truth and good governance; any leader that does the right thing should be supported by workers,” he said.
Waba, who is in Jos to participate in a seminar organised by the National Civil Service Union, however, appreciated Lalong for putting smiles on the faces of workers and pensioners in Plateau.
“You have done excellently well. You are a shining example of how leadership should be. You have cleared the six months salary arrears you inherited and also cleared pension arrears.
“You have started paying gratuities as well as monies withheld by your predecessors who insisted on the no-work-no-pay policy.
“The NLC is also impressed with how you deployed the bailout and Paris Club funds received from the Federal Government and has always urged others to emulate your kindness,” he said.
Lalong, in his remarks, thanked the NLC leadership for offering their counsel when he sought its advice on how best to make the workers happy.
He said workers in Plateau were seen as part of government whose counsel and cooperation had been crucial to success in the last three years.
The governor announced that he had approved the establishment of a workers’ estate, saying that work on it would kick off when the next tranche of Paris Club refund was received.
He told the NLC President that he considered the payment of salaries as a moral obligation that must be kept.