HomeECONOMYMay Day: Atiku, Obi Lead Advocate for Improved Worker Welfare

May Day: Atiku, Obi Lead Advocate for Improved Worker Welfare

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Afor Kenneth 

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, and his counterpart in the Labour Party, Peter Obi, have called for improved workers welfare as workers as commemorate this year’s workers’ day, also known as May Day.

May Day, celebrated on the first day of May each year, is dedicated to honoring the contributions of workers and their pivotal role in society and economic development.

In separate messages to commemorate Nigerian workers on Wednesday, both leaders acknowledged their invaluable contributions to Nigeria’s progress while also recognizing the challenges they face in receiving fair compensation for their efforts.

Atiku highlighted that as Nigerian workers join their counterparts worldwide in celebrating International Workers Day, it is a poignant reminder that the plight of the Nigerian worker remains significant.

He said: “Despite prolonged pledges and flowery words by the government, the much talked-about prospects of wage increment for the Nigerian worker remains a mirage. Every dawn unveils renewed hardships and harsh living conditions.

“After the contraction and contradictions by the government about whether the subsidy regime has gone or it is still being implemented, the country is today facing the angst of frustration by Nigerians who waste precious man-hours in queues at petrol stations across the country.

“The petrol subsidy is purportedly gone; yet its impact lingers – revealing the ineptitude of the current federal government. In an unprecedented manner and condescending of both the Nigerian worker and the general public, this current federal government announced a unilateral removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit without consultations with representatives of the Nigerian worker.

“The continued increase in tariffs in different service offerings without addressing the corruption and inefficiencies in the system only amounts to long-suffering Nigerians subsidising the corruption and inefficiencies in the system. Since the days of legendary, Pa. Michael Imoudu, to later day fire brands such as Pascal Bafyau and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the Nigerian worker has been at the forefront of the fight against tyranny and bad governance.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Extols Workers’ Contributions and Promises Resolute Action in May Day Address

“No administration in our history has trampled workers’ rights like this one. Daily, workers face uncertainty over skyrocketing prices of essential goods.

“The Nigerian worker has had it so rough under this current administration and it is unfortunate that while the living conditions of the Nigerian worker remains at a miserably low ebb, the Nigerian government continues to regale its international audiences with tales of how the masses are being weaned of their wasteful dependence on government.

“It is thus beginning to appear, that as far as the current federal government is concerned, the management of our country’s micro-economic outlook is an unwieldy laboratory experiment, to which the Nigerian worker is laid prostrate.

“While I cannot but share my sympathy with the Nigerian worker for the way the current government has ridiculed her for far too long, I must equally express my felicitations with the Nigerian worker on this year’s Workers Day.

“It is my hope that the theme of this year’s Labour Day: Ensuring Safety and Health at Work In a Changing Climate, will inspire the Nigerian government to put the concerns of the Nigerian Worker on the front burner.”

Similarly, Obi commended the unwavering resilience of the workers, even amidst adversity and challenges.

The former Anambra State governor said: “As we come together to celebrate Workers’ Day, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of pride and admiration for each and every one of you who continue to stand tall and steadfast in your commitment to building our great nation, even in the face of adversity and challenges.

“Today, as we honour the hard work, dedication, and resilience of workers across the country and beyond, I am reminded of the incredible strength and spirit that defines us as a people.

“Despite the countless obstacles and hurdles that may stand in our way, you, the backbone of our society, remain unwavering in your resolve to contribute to the growth and development of our beloved nation.

“From the bustling streets of Lagos to the serene villages of the North, from the bustling markets of Onitsha to the bustling ports of Port Harcourt, your labour forms the foundation upon which our nation stands.

“Whether you are toiling in the fields under the scorching sun or labouring in factories amidst the hum of machinery, your efforts are the lifeblood of our economy and the driving force behind our progress.

“But beyond the tangible contributions you daily make to our nation’s development, it is your unwavering patriotism, resilience, and determination that truly inspire us all.

“In the face of economic hardships, political uncertainties, and social injustices, you continue to stand your ground, holding fast to your belief in a brighter future for our country. I stand with you in solidarity, championing your cause and advocating for your rights.

“I recognize the sacrifices you make each and every day to provide for your families, support your communities, and contribute to the collective well-being of our nation. Today, as we celebrate Workers’ Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to one another and to the ideals of unity, justice, and equality for all.

“Let us take pride in our achievements, draw strength from our collective resilience, and rededicate ourselves to the noble cause of building a better, more prosperous Nigeria for generations to come.

“Lastly, I extend my heartfelt gratitude and admiration to each and every one of you for your unwavering dedication, patriotism, and sacrifice. Your labour is the cornerstone of our nation’s prosperity, and your contributions will forever be cherished and celebrated.

“Truly, as our anthem reaffirms, the labour of you our perpetual heroes shall indeed never be in vain.”

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