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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Treason offense: NLC asks SGF to retract statement

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The Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) has called on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, to retract a statement in which he said the shutdown of the national network by union members amounted to a “ serious crime of treason” and “economic sabotage.” “

The unions – the NLC and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) – last week declared an indefinite strike following the federal government’s failure to reach consensus on the new minimum wage.

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Nigerian workers, as part of their effort to pressure the Nigerian government, shut down the national grid, causing a blackout in the nation.

Akume, while addressing the National Executive Council of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday, said the closure of the national network by union members amounted to a “serious crime of treason.”

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume. [PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter handle of Mr Akume]

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“Nowhere in the world have workers ever disrupted the national grid. It’s betrayal. A crime of treason is economic sabotage, that is not done,” said the SGF.

Akume also said he cannot afford to pay each of his four drivers N100,000 as salary in a month.

He retracts his regrettable statement – ​​NLC

The NLC, in its reaction, said it was disappointed by Mr Akume’s comments where the SGF described the “legitimate and constitutionally protected industrial action” as a “serious crime of treason” and “economic sabotage”.

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The union said the statement was “deeply worrying” and undermined the spirit of constructive dialogue needed to resolve current issues.

In a statement posted on its official

“Those who loot our treasury across the country, those who divert public resources meant for hospitals and schools, those who engage in foreign exchange round trips, stuff budgets and inflate contracts, including those who steal trillions of naira in the name of subsidies, are the real economic saboteurs who commit crimes of treason.

“These people are in expensive Agbada and traveling in convoys across the country, occupying the corridors of power and not innocent workers who are not slaves but chose to withdraw their services due to the inhumane treatment meted out to them by the government,” he said. the NLC. saying.

The NLC said it was “disheartening” that the SGF, a senior government official, made a statement to trivialize the genuine grievances of Nigerian workers. He also criticized his claim that he cannot afford to pay his four drivers N100,000 each as salary and wondered why the SGF needed four drivers.

The union said it was clear that the SGF was paying its staff “starvation wages” and was telling the public that it (the SGF) is a “slave master”.

The NLC said the path to resolving the minimum wage crisis lies through genuine dialogue and a commitment to address the legitimate concerns of workers, and urged the government to engage with them in good faith, free of threats and intimidation, citing how the Nigerian army surrounded their workers. meeting place with the SGF.

Army headquarters denied the allegation that soldiers surrounded the venue of the meeting between union leaders and the SGF, saying the soldiers were accompanying national security adviser Nuhu Ribadu, who also attended the meeting.

The NLC said it remains committed to upholding the rights and welfare of Nigerian workers and remains steadfast in its demand and will continue to pursue it through legitimate means.

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