‘Intensify your participation in politics’ – Jega tells Nigerian workers


Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega has called on workers to intensify their participation in politics as a way to liberate themselves from exploitation.

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He made this known while delivering a lecture titled: “Labour, Politics, and Governance in Nigeria” at the 40th Anniversary of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja on Monday.

Jega, who described trade unionism as a potent tool for conscientising the Nigerian people on the need to be liberated from all forms of exploitation and domination, said in the past 40 years the journey for the protection and advancement of the collective interests of the Nigerian workers as well as the overall interest of the Nigerian people has been smeared with the sweat and blood of trade unionists who pursued a vision of national liberation more than contribution to national development.

Against that backdrop, he urged Nigerian workers to pay constant attention to both who is elected into political office as well as the processes through which they are being elected; and once elected, the processes through which they conduct the business of governing and the outcomes as they impact on Nigerian workers and the citizens in general.

Jega argued that it was necessary for the labour movement and the working peoples of Nigeria to intensify participation in electoral processes, policy and legislation making processes, economic arena, and partnership with credible civil society.

He said: “The Nigeria Labour Congress has come a long way in the past 40 years. The journey has not been on a smooth road paved with gold and lined with roses; rather it has been a rough road of intense struggles, often smeared with sweat and blood, to protect and advance the collective interests of the Nigerian workers, as well as, generally the overall interest of the Nigerian people.

“Nigerian workers deserve better than what has been offered to them so far, as a political platform for engagement in the electoral politics. The Nigerian labour movement can do better, and should get its act together to do better.

“It is necessary for the labour movement and the working peoples of Nigeria to intensify participation in the political and governance arenas.’


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