This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Plateau Faults NLC President On Workers' Crisis

Plateau State government has again blamed the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Abdulwaheed Umar, for mismanaging the labour crisis in the state, saying it is disappointed with the double posture of the Umar.

The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Abraham Yiljap, in a statement issued in Jos at the weekend noted that "the NLC Headquarters in Abuja is at its greasily game again: raising an alarm about events in Plateau to divert attention from the untenable failure of its leadership to do two simple things: Obey a court injunction and encourage its state chapter in Plateau to toe the path of peace in its conduct."

He said the latest claim by the NLC acting secretary, Comrade Chris Uyot, that "Governor Jonah Jang is dangerous to democracy" is a mere echo of his master's voice, the NLC president, who had tried this week to hide the leadership's glaring mismanagement of the Plateau labour situation by coming out rather to attack the governor's personality.

"Let Nigerians judge for themselves who between Jang and Omar is more dangerous to democracy: Jang that observed the rule of law by approaching the courts of the land rather than resort to self help and arbitrariness or Omar, who had encouraged the NLC leadership to disobey a just court order?

"Was it not this same Jang, who appealed to the NLC national leadership on Thursday November 22, to prevail on the workers to call off the strike, agree to a verification exercise and stop any form of violence?

"And was it not the rather unfulfilled promise of the NLC leadership to make the workers' leaders call off the strike that has given impetus to the eruption of this violence?

"If anything at all, Governor Jang has shown greater commitment to the ideals of democracy by working absolutely for workers' welfare, undertaking people-oriented projects, and investing heavily in sustaining the peace of the state," Yiljap noted.

He said Comrade Ufot was in Jos and personally praised Governor Jang for being a "consistent hard worker", asking when has he changed his mind - unless he was not sincere!

He added that "the government of Plateau has shown respect for the rule of law, and exhibited civility and peaceful conduct in its industrial relations.

"It has actively engaged the workers in fruitful negotiations; involved stakeholders and state elders as well as remained open to peaceful resolution."

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