Amid Naira, Fuel Scarcity: TUC vows to defend interests of Nigerian workers


*Warns that Nigeria is being pushed towards anarchy

By Michael Oche

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has again warned the Presidency and political class that the ongoing scarcity of petrol and new naira notes is pushing Nigeria “down the steep slope of anarchism.”

Speaking during a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo pledged that the interests of the Nigerian populace would be the irreducible minimum for the Congress as it moves to engage the government.

“We have never had it so bad, never have our populace been made to attack banks, strip in banking halls or threaten to commit suicide inside financial houses because they cannot have access to their hard earn money,” he said.

Osifo lamented that politicians who should rather come up with concrete suggestions or try to find a solution, have turned the crisis into a circus show in which brick bats are thrown, conspiracy theories woven, and accusations made while the people are meant to suffer.

He said, “Despite these past weeks of uncertainty, there is no clear solution in sight as the State and Federal Governments are neither on the same page nor have they charted any clear path to resolve this visibly self-induced crises.

“The Presidency and political class must realize that they are pushing the country down the steep slope of anarchism. Unless they reverse this, they must know that all our collective efforts to build a viable and democratic system would be lost; we are very close to the precipice and must act carefully.”

The TUC President said should these issues not resolved in the coming days, the Congress and its comrades in the labour and social movements would begin consultations with various groups in the country to work out democratic, constitutional and legal ways and means to save the populace and our beloved country.

He said, “The minimum irreducible for us is that Nigerians must have access to their money, petrol must be available at official prices, security provided for all who live in the country, and welfare for the people is given priority.

“The TUC assures its members and the working people that it would defend and protect their interests.

“The leadership of TUC shall be monitoring the situation closely within the time frame of our ultimatum and will give further directive should the situation not improve. All Affiliate Unions and State Councils, Civil Societies, Traders, Students our Allies, Market Men and Women, religious leaders are hereby put on red alert.”