The Nigeria Labour Congress has insisted that there is no going back on the proposed nationwide industrial action, calling on citizens, irrespective of ethnic, religious and political differences, to join the nationwide strike scheduled to hold from October 3, noting that it is the march to freedom, better living conditions and prosperity for all.
The Organised Labour who disclosed this as the Nigeria commemorate the 63rd Independence Day anniversary on Sunday also appealed to royal fathers and other well-meaning Nigerians to admonish the government to listen to labour and cushion the suffering across the country.
“This nation can work for all of us. This nation can be made beautiful but good things do not just happen; they are worked out.
"Liberty is not a ripe fruit that falls to the ground on its own accord. With our hands joined together as the owners of Nigeria, in truth and one heart, we can work for our freedom. Let us awaken this giant and make it work for us,” the NLC said in an emotional tone.
This came as that the Federal Government is expected to meet with labour leaders Sunday in Abuja in an effort to thwart the planned strike beginning from October 3.
NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, in an independent anniversary massage titled Nigeria, ‘The travails of a mismanaged giant’, stated that the struggle from October 3 is for Nigeria to rise and shine once more as a beacon of hope and prosperity for all its citizens.
Ajaero observed that Nigeria, with all its flaws at conception, possesses a great potential to be amongst the best economies of the world.
“As we mark this Independence Day, let us do so with a renewed sense of purpose. Let us acknowledge our past, confront our present challenges, and collectively work towards a brighter future for Nigeria,” he stated.
“Together, we can reclaim the greatness that has eluded us for too long. It is time for Nigeria to rise and shine once more as a beacon of hope and prosperity for all its citizens.
"Remember, when we stand as one refusing to be divided, we will triumph. We call on all Nigerians to join us on the 3rd day of October around Nigeria to begin our march to freedom through the indefinite nationwide strike.
”To this end, the Nigeria Labour Congress beckons on all of us to join hands from all parts of the nation; the North, the East, the West and the South to build the needed coalition to make our nation truly an independent nation.
“As we celebrate Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary, it is important that we drew our attention to the fact that this nation was once a great nation filled with great hope inspired by great leaders until inept and corrupt leaders took over the helms of affairs and ran the country aground.
"The crisis of leadership is truly the crisis of our national development.
“The continued mismanagement of our resources has made it difficult for us a nation and as a people to make sustainable progress rather, we have continued to march backwards with every preceding year looking worse than the previous one.
“Regrettably, the decades that followed were marked by a series of missteps, mismanagement, and missed opportunities.
"The erosion of ethical governance, rampant corruption, and political instability became defining features of our nation. Instead of harnessing our potential for the collective good, our leaders often pursued personal interests, leaving the masses to grapple with the consequences.
”There is no other way to explain the fact that about 43 years ago, Nigeria had a vibrant Airline called the Nigeria Airways with a large fleet of Aircraft flying to several parts of the globe and owning large properties which spans almost half of Ikeja GRA and in London and capital cities of Europe.
"We had a national Shipping line that had in its fleet several Vessels which competed favourably with other shipping lines all over the world.
“Yet, as a nation, we have managed to deliberately become a nation with neither a national Airline nor a national shipping line. We became a nation that derives happiness in making a mockery of ourselves as was typified by the Nigeria Air debacle where we had to fake the ownership of an Airline by shamelessly borrowing and repainting an Aircraft from Ethiopian Airline.
“This period of independence must serve as a time when all of us have to seriously seek to question ourselves and thoroughly re-examine our actions as a people and as a nation.
“We have to soberly reflect on why we have moved from a once prosperous nation to become a country that is the poverty capital of the world with over 133million multi-dimensionally poor people.
"This number has since increased after the hike in the price of petrol (PMS) by His Excellency Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“It is indeed an opportunity to find how we have moved to a nation that had a refinery that was operational in the 1960s which grew into another three refineries in the 1980s but which have been deliberately made obsolete by those we have entrusted the leadership of our nation.
”One of the most painful aspects of Nigeria’s journey has been the economic struggles faced by the majority of our citizens.
"Despite being blessed with abundant natural resources, poverty and unemployment have become entrenched in our society.
"The promise of prosperity for all remains elusive, as a significant portion of our population continues to live in abject poverty.
“Moreover, social disparities have widened, with a yawning gap between the privileged few and the marginalized many.
"Access to quality healthcare, education, and basic infrastructure remains a distant dream for millions of Nigerians.
"This inequality not only undermines our social fabric but also hampers our collective progress."
Meanwhile, the Federal Government and Labour leaders are expected to meet today in an effort to find a common ground and avert the planned nationwide industrial action from Wednesday.