Labour to SGF: Economic Saboteurs Drive in Convoys, take Overpower Line Corridors

The National Labour Congress (NLC) has rebuked George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), for saying that the Organised Labour’s Monday shutdown of the National Grid constituted economic sabotage and a treasonable crime.

Labour said economic sabotage wears flowing Agbada (robes), drives in convoys, and occupies the corridors of power in a statement released late Friday by NLC spokesperson Benson Upah.

Akume said on Thursday that the National Grid shutdown by Trade Union Congress (TUC) and NLC members constituted a treasonable felony. He bemoaned how organised labour’s activities had cost the federal government money.

Labour halted industrial action on Monday and reopened it on Tuesday in order to pound home demands for a higher minimum wage.

Labour did, however, maintain that the demands of workers are based on the need for economic justice and fairness for all Nigerian workers and residents.

“There are just and obvious requests made by the TUC and NLC. We want to see an end to the discriminatory banding of electricity consumers and the conclusion and enactment of a new national minimum wage that is in line with the realities of living costs. These demands are based on the need for economic justice and equity for all Nigerian citizens and workers.

We are sure, is well aware of those who act treasonously and harm our economy. The true economic saboteurs who commit treasonous crimes are those who steal trillions of Naira in the name of subsidies, who roundtrip foreign exchange, pad budgets, and inflate contracts, and who divert public resources intended for hospitals and schools.

These are not innocent workers who have chosen to stop working because of the cruel treatment they have received from the government; rather, they are wealthy Agbada drivers who travel the country in convoys, occupying the corridors of power.

It is especially depressing that a senior government official like the SGF would downplay the legitimate complaints of Nigerian workers. His admission that he cannot afford to pay each of his four drivers N100,000 a month serves as a sobering reminder of the gap between the government and the realities that many Nigerians experience. Such remarks just serve to heighten tensions rather than help to resolve the current problems, the statement said in part.

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