…CPC BACKS WORKERS
Enugu State governorship candidate for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the last elections, Mr. Osita Okechukwu has expressed support for the protest staged by the workers in Enugu State over what he termed, 'refusal of the state government to implement the N18, 000 minimum wage.'
In a statement issued in Enugu yesterday, Mr. Okechukwu, CPC hailed the workers 'for rising against insensitivity of the government in the State, which exhibited anti-labour and by extension, anti-people tendencies, from inception.'
'The workers could not have adopted a better approach to confront an administration as insensitive as that of Governor Sullivan Chime.'
The CPC candidate commended Enugu workers for their protest.
He said, 'We are happy that Enugu has made history again as the first state where workers thronged the streets to demand for the N18, 000 minimum wage, contained in the National Minimum Wage Act, signed into law by the President.
'The protest by workers on Tuesday resonates the spirit of the 21 coal miners who were killed in the city by the colonial police in 1949 for demanding for better conditions of service from the colonial masters.
That protest laid the foundation of not only modern trade unionism in Nigeria, but also nationalism and struggle for Independence, which Nigeria eventually attained on 1st October 1960.
'However, it is quite regrettable that the dreams of our founding fathers for a politically stable and economically viable Nigeria have been dashed by leaders like the ones we have in Enugu today.
'How can a governor collect a monthly allocation of N2.3 billion and yet he cannot pay N18, 000 to civil servants? How can a governor collect over N600 million as security vote monthly and yet N18, 000 is too much for him to give to workers?
'What happens to the Internally Generated Revenue of the state, which from our findings is running into billions of naira? We expect answers to these questions from the Governor and his media spin doctors like Commissioner for Information, Chuks Ugwoke,' Okechukwu said.
He disclosed that CPC has more cause to worry that the state government, instead of negotiating with the workers, threatened to apply no work no pay rule, and called on all well meaning Nigerians to support Enugu workers.