Civil rights defender and President of One Love Caring and Human Rights Foundation, Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor has taken the Nigerian Labour Congress to the cleaners.
Eholor while reacting to the planned increment in fuel prices and involvement of the NLC in the whole quagmire, said that it’s time for the NLC to be dissolved as they are serving no useful purpose for Nigerians.
Going down history lane, the Civil society activist stated that the NLC only uses Nigerians to achieve their selfish purposes of collecting settlements from government, while pretending to fight for the welfare of the people. Listing some of the aims and objectives of the Congress, he argued that having not served any useful purpose for so many years, NLC have outlived it’s usefulness and should be shut down.
He also called on civil society groups and other pressure organizations to boycott their planned protest over fuel increase, and hinted of his plans to take them to court to interpret their functions and objectives.
“The Nigeria Labour Congress is supposed to represent the interests and welfare of our workers. Now tell me the last time they have been there for the workers. Tell me how many states have been able to pay ordinary 55 or 60 dollars that is the minimum wage?
“Nigerians are living below 1 dollar a day, and we say we have the NLC?
“Tell me how an NLC president managed to have a house in Maitama Abuja?
“How long are they going to continue to fool us as citizens of this country? The people have a right to protest, to denounce the government not to increase the fuel price. We the people don’t need the NLC, NLC is fraud. I say it day and night, they are fraud.
“Does the NLC know or care if a worker dies in the place of work? Does the NLC care if any worker or workers are fired unlawfully by the government or their private sector employers?
“When did the NLC go ro Court to represent the interests of such people?
“When has the NLC protested tax been taken from the poor and not from the rich? Listen, NLC is a fraud. The last time we had efficient NLC was the time of Pa Michael Imoudu. I am saying that every reasonable Nigerian should not participate in the upcoming protest of NLC because by the 8thebate going to meet them at midnight, and give them Ghana-Must-Go to go and buy houses abroad, the common Nigerian who went to protest, who wa whipped, who was teargassed are still going to be below poverty level.
“So, we must wake up, if we are not informed, we are deformed. I am tired of the NLC using us as chips of bargain.
“I understand that most people will say that I am a critic, that I should agree with NLC so that people can come out and protest with them. But when was the last time we stood with them and they fought for us?
“These are the questions that are very salient to ask.
“Therefore say that we, the Civil Society, especially we of the One Love Foundation, and I am the president of One Love Foundation, we will not be part of any protest of the NLC. Let me also add here-when we had the #EndSARS memorial in Lekki when I was arrested, brutalized, thrown into the Black Maria, where was the NLC president?
“The people who were killed, were they not workers, were they not citizens of this country? Why couldn’t they condemn it? Why is NLC playing politics with us and with our head? Enough jd that. The rubbish must stop. I think the NLC should be disbanded, they have outlived their usefulness.
“I think I am going to institute a case against the NLC, and challenge them for incompetence, because they have used us foe too long. Now, our mumu don do. We must not give them the chance to continue to exploit us, or to use us any more.
“There is also the RTEAN, where touts become billionaires across the 36 states. Their leaders are super rich, but when the drivers or the conductors die, nobody is there to represent them. These guys are acting like Al Capon in the days of Lucky Luciano, the days of mafias. That’s how they are running the government because these are the same thugs they use when the conduct the elections.
“Why should any thug collect money from drivers and claim the are the welfare of drivers, when they don’t knkw how the drivers live, or how the conductor’s live ? I think it’s unfair. I think these things should be challenged in court, I think since no one is doing it, I am going to challenge all of them in court, all of them collecting illegal rates to benefit themselves and their families. Somebody needs to speak out. We cannot continue to live in fear, we cannot continue to live in hiding. They are using us as punch bag, we are not going to allow it again. That is why I said NLC doesn’t know what it means to be NLC.
“When people are working, they are supposed to have what is called contribution, a worker’s compensation. Supposing if you lose your job for six months, government will pay you a percentage of what you are earning. That’s what happens in so many ideal societies, until you get another job. There is also the worker compensation, the next is where the government will be giving you social welfare to make sure that protect you and you don’t fall into drugs, prostitution, social vices, or depression or crime.
“Is NLC speaking about this today? Do they even know if it exists? Most of them are just a bunch of crooks or thugs, without apology.
”So we of the CSO must be very careful of the kind of association we decide to partner with, because we cannot allow them to continue to use you. It should not be. They are stealing our common patrimony, and they have to be stopped now.
“I am going to use the FOI Act to query the establishment of the NLC. I will use it to show Nigerians what the NLC is supposed to do for Nigerians. You can’t go there and wear khaki and pretend you are with the people and exploit the citizens. If we see that they are not doing what they stand for, I will have to approach a Federal High Court to dissolve NLC as illegal. This is because they are not doing what the ought to do for the people.