October 1, 2014 – Trade Union Congress (TUC) has called on Nigerians not to mortgage their future with material gains but that they should vote for free education at all level, quality roads and employment at the 2015 general elections.
President of TUC, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama made the plea on the occasion of Nigeria’s 54th Independent anniversary.
He noted that though Nigeria is still work in progress, both the leadership and followers have a role to play in making it ‘our collective dream’.
“Within the next seven months we shall go to the polls to elect men and women who will pilot the affairs of the country for the next four years. It is my fervent hope that the electorate shall not sell their birthright for just a mesh of portage. Let every voter shun quarter or half bag of rice and the likes. Let us say no to “stomach infrastructure” and Greek gifts of recharge cards from our politicians. Let us insist on having quality roads, free education, employment, etc”, he said.
Kaigama said the independence anniversary provides another opportunity to reflect on the state of the Nigerian polity, economy and society.
“It is indisputable that the vast majority of Nigerians, especially the younger generation, are disenchanted with several aspects of our national life, chiefly because of the poor performance of key government functionaries and institutions.
“The deepening poverty level and unprecedented unemployment rate easily lay credence to this fact”, he said.
According to him, relative to other nations that were Nigeria’s contemporaries at attainment of statehood, Nigeria he said has recorded far less economic development.
“In fact, the firm foundations laid by the immediate post-independence leaders have been eroded over the years through corruption, ineptitude and ill-conceived policies”, he noted.
He said that disservice of those in political office at local government, state and federal levels has continued unabated without any moral obligation to serve the interest of the masses since they never really got there on popular mandate.
“It now appears that the success of an office holder is assessed according to the measure of ill-gotten wealth that he has amassed in office rather than the quantum of his efficiency and contribution to the growth and development of the nation”, he said adding that the mystery behind the recent case of $9.3 million cash apprehended in South Africa, the question of the billions of Naira reportedly missing from the accounts of Central Bank of Nigeria in recent years, the ceaseless oil bunkering, and the nauseating conflict of figures emanating from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are just a few of the indices that show how very limp the government’s much-hyped anti-corruption crusade has become.