As workers join its counterparts all over the world to commemorate the 2022 workers’ day celebration, President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU to seek dialogue with the Federal Government in order to address and put an end to the lingering strike action by the university lecturers in the country.
President Buhari who was represented by the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo made the appeal in Abuja at the May Day.
He further appealed to organized labor as the mother of trade unions in the country to set up machinery that would help address the lingering strike action.
The Vice President who took time to emphasize the contributions of workers in national development, enumerated what the administration has done, in a bid to improve the wellbeing of workers.
He assured workers that the country is gradually moving into a progressive nation. He added that a new Chapter in the nation’s history of equal justice would soon be rewritten.
He said “We are not unmindful of the anxieties of our children and their parents who are plagued by thoughts of an uncertain future as they stay home because their universities have been shut by an industrial action. I appeal to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the broader labour community to seek the path of dialogue.
Disagreement and debate have always been part of the relationship between labour and the government. Even as we disagree today, we must not do so as mortal adversaries but as members of the same progressive family. We both want the same thing – a country that works for all and offers each citizen a fair deal – even if occasionally we differ on how to achieve this goal. But at all times, we have through dialogue found a path forward. It in this spirit that I call on ASUU to embrace dialogue with the Government and I call on the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to help facilitate a resolution of this dispute through dialogue. I believe that we can find a path forward in good faith. And this is what we will do”.
“However, we must recognize that the quest to give practical meaning to our Constitution’s promise of inclusion will take time. The lesson of history, the world over, is that structural inequities are not dismantled in one day. As members of the labour movement, you belong to a tendency that has been involved in the most consequential struggles of our history. You understand that the struggle for social justice, equity and fairness is an inter-generational one but each generation writes its own chapter of progress. Just as it took time to win our independence from colonial rule and just as it took time to establish democratic governance, we are moving steadily and surely towards a more progressive Nigeria”, he added.
Speaking earlier, the President Nigeria Labour Congress Comrade Ayuba Wabba who took time to lament over the present challenges bedeviling the nation, charged the Nigerian workers to be
Conscious of the 2023 elections, by making sure that they acquire their voter’s cards to vote out political leaders who don’t have workers at heart.
Ayuba said “Fellow workers and dear citizens, there is no better time than now to enter the political rings and engage more vigorously with the questions of our collective survival as a people and as the working class who produce the wealth that the political class squanders at whim. The absece of serious engagement by our professional political class with the real issues that define our lives and set the limits of decent living even as the campaign s for 2023 general election gets underway should alert and alarm Nigerian workers”.
“Instead of engaging the issues of physical security, social protection, decent wages, unemployment and poverty eradication, fixing the economy, our politicians are more interested in zoning of political offices and threatening the peace of our country which is already greatly imperilled. Clearly, it is a failed political class that would wish to keep the masses, workers and the daily social-economic struggles we face as footnotes in the 2023 political agenda”, he added.
May Day otherwise known as workers’ Day, is a day set aside globally to celebrate workers. workers’ day is celebrated every 1st May of the year.
The theme for the 2022 May Day is “Labour, politics and the Quest for good Governance and Development in Nigeria”.