By ANDREW OJIEZEL
THE 2016 May Day celebration might have come and gone, but the message passed across by the aggrieved workers will continue to hunt President Muhammadu Buhari for a long time.
Workers who expressed their disappointment and loss of confidence in Buhari change song during the 2016 parade in Eagle Square, venue of the May Day celebration in Abuja and in Lagos, described the absence of Buhari and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos as sign of self-defeat postures.
In his speech, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba expressed dissatisfaction over the current state of electricity. “The light situation is so bad that many federal government ministries in the central business district in the Federal capital have had uncountable embarrassing moments, where they had to host important national and international guests in darkness.
In addition, Wabba stated that “On the part of organized labour and its civil society allies, we organized a nation-wide protest rally last February, and met with the leadership of the National Assembly and the relevant officers and agents of government to get a reversal of these patently unjust increases. All these have failed to persuade government to do the right thing. We have a mandate of the Central Working Committee (CWC) of congress that should this intransigence on the part of government, the DISCOS and GENCOS continue, we must prepare to hold a national strike to force the reversal of the latest increases.”
In the same vein, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama stated that the union is finding it hard to believe in what is happening in the electricity sector.
According to Kaigama, “We are bemused that the recent hike in electricity tariff has neither been reversed nor prepaid metres given to customers, in spite of organised labour’s 8th of February nationwide protest and picketing of the offices of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and those of the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and the Generating Companies (GENCOs).”
Similarly, the NLC President in Lagos, Comrade Joe Ajaero, declared that Nigerians were tired of excuses being given by the Federal Government for the poor performance of the power sector.
According to Ajaero, residents of Nigeria are suffering from electricity poverty despite the fact that the sector was privatised more than two years ago.
“We have always advocated that public officers who are charged to man the power sector need to shun sentiments and put up concerted efforts to fix the sector.
“Nigerians are tired of listening to the same excuses of previous administrations. So, solving the associated problems is pivotal to the country’s socio-economic advancement. The tea party should be over by now.”