NLC cautions Buhari against silencing opposition voices


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against harassing those who speak out on the insecurity pervading the country.


President of the congress, Ayuba Wabba, who spoke on the killing and banditry ravaging the North East, and the Boko Haram insurgency in Abuja yesterday, alleged plot by some faceless groups to politicise, discredit, discourage and demobilise credible, progressive, and patriotic people who speak out courageously on the rising insecurity across the country.

Wabba particularly flayed what he described as coordinated attacks on Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, and other eminent Nigerians for airing their displeasure with insecurity in the country.

“They are the hired gongs and masked town criers whose penchant is to play the Ostrich on behalf of their sponsors while Rome burns.

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“Even the blind knows that the resurgence of insecurity in the country has taken very extreme dimensions. As we noted in our recent press statement on insecurity in Nigeria, many communities in the North East and North West zones have been deserted for a long time owing to the prevailing insecurity.

“The lives of our fellow compatriots, many of whom are workers, have been turned into a living hell due to the protracted security challenge in the country. So, many lives, families, dreams and prospects have been torn apart and many citizens have been inflicted with scars that may never heal. And some people want Nigerians to be quiet. No way!” the labour leader said.

Wabba also bemoaned the alleged warning from the military that state governors should refrain from criticisms of the security situation in the country.

“Our first response is to doubt that such statements actually came from our military high command. If it is true that such statements truly emanated from an institution that is supposed to be under the sovereignty of the people as reposed on elected democratic leadership at all levels, then it is quite unfortunate.

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“While saluting the gallantry and sacrifice by members of our armed forces, it is important to note that no person or institution is beyond constructive criticism, especially by the people they claim to serve. Under this democratic dispensation, no person carries the weight of the expectations, hopes and aspirations of the people than their elected leaders. Any attempt to belittle or dismiss their mandate would be tantamount to undermining the will of the Nigerian people, our democratic foundations and our sovereignty as a state,” Wabba declared.

NLC warned meddlesome interlopers whose stock in trade is to sing for attention or to perform for the highest bidder to cease and desist from aggravating the hurt in the minds of many Nigerians, especially those in the conflict zones, who live everyday as if it is their last day.

Wabba observed that even when the corpse of another person resembles a log of wood, Nigerians’ humanity must evoke some sympathy with the suffering, the wounded.

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He said that the congress would not hesitate to expose those playing politics with the lives of ordinary Nigerians being wasted on daily basis.

“We once again call on Mr. President to rejig the security apparatus in the country. We need to try new tactics and new capable hands. Enough of the bloodshed already! We refuse to be reduced to a land of blood, tears, misery, fears and pains. Nigerians will not be cowed!”

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