The former Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, says Nigeria at the verge of collapse, as reckless politicians in the helm of governance are obviously running the country aground.
Jega stated this in Abuja at the 2022 Workers’ Political Conference organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
He noted that considering the current situation in the country, 2023 general elections may make or mar the progress of the country.
He therefore, said that all hands of progressive forces must be on deck to prevent Nigeria from imminent collapse.
“The sorry state of the socioeconomic conditions under which the Nigerian working people, indeed the overwhelming majority of all citizens live and work, the reckless misrule and mis-governance by a tiny, rabid and reckless band of elite, and the manner by which these myopic ‘elected’ so-called ‘leaders’ and their collaborators, have devastated the Nigerian economy, heightened insecurity, and virtually destroyed the basis for national cohesion and integration, Nigeria, as a potentially great nation, is crying for a rescue mission, before it is too late.
“Such a rescue mission cannot be serious, positive and successful, without the active engagement and involvement of the Nigerian workers through their genuine representatives in working class organizations and movements, in alliance with other progressive and patriotic Nigerians.
“While Nigeria may not have totally collapsed, it is in the process of collapsing, as reckless elite in control of the governance process are blindly running the country aground. And the 2023 general elections may be the ‘make or break’ epochal moment.
“Given this, all hands of progressive forces must be on deck to prevent our country from imminent collapse, and to turn it around on to a trajectory of good democratic governance for beneficial democratic, socioeconomic development, and human security for Nigerian citizens.
“A broad alliance of progressive forces for national rescue and emancipation is absolutely required to get Nigeria out of the current unwholesome predicament in which it finds itself.
“The deliberations at this conference, guided by the lead paper presentation and panel discussion, should help us chart a course for a reinforced commitment to national emancipation and more active engagement participation of Nigerian workers in our current and future political processes.” Jega said
In his remarks, the President Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, charged INEC and Security Agencies to stamp out the menace of vote-buying and electoral violence during the 2023 polls.
He further stated that, Nigerian workers are ready to engage political parties across the country to ensure that a significant number of candidates who would vie for elective positions in 2023 subscribe to the provisions of our Charter.
Ayuba said that, it was a near absence and acute deficit of serious engagement with the existential political concerns that have provided the context for this Workers’ Political Conference.
“The 2022 NLC Workers’ Political Conference seeks to set the Labour Agenda as a guide to our affiliates and workers and for engagement with Nigeria’s political class at federal, state, local government and ward every level especially as we approach the 2023 general election and beyond. Our priorities are eminently captured in our charter of demands which seeks answers to the questions of development in Nigeria.
To say that Nigeria is at political crossroads would not be a statement of alarm. It would be a factual construction of our reality”.
“With 2023 in view, there is a lot of politicking, intrigues and subterfuge in the political space. Every indication shows that the polity is once again being over-heated. Sadly, as it has become norm with our cycle of broken politics, the polity is not being heated with questions and answers on how the current political mandate has been used by political office holders. The polity is not being over-heated with concerns on how the current ruling elites have honoured the socio-economic rights of Nigerians in Chapter Two of the 1999 Constitution. The polity is not being over-heated with new ideas of how politicians can meet the expectations of Nigerians who want constant power to power their potentials, motorable roads, adequate security that will keep us from always looking over our shoulders and living wages that will offer workers a chance at decent living.
The near absence and acute deficit of serious engagement with these existential political concerns have provided the context for this Workers’ Political Conference”.
“We urge INEC and security agencies to stamp out the menace of vote-buying and electoral violence during the 2023 polls. INEC should also perfect the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System to drastically reduce resort to incidence forms and disenfranchisement of eligible voters. In 2023, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that all votes count”, he added.
The Theme for the event is” Commitment to National Emancipation and Development Through Effective Political Engagement by Nigerian Workers”.