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NLC backs proposed national conference

By The Rainbow


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has thrown its weight behind the national conference proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The support of the labour centre is critical especially against the background of opposing voices against the conference, especially from the North.

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), an umbrella body of northern leaders of thought, said last week that the proposed conference was diversionary and that the North might not participate in it.

NLC, through its Acting General Secretary, Comrade Chris Uyot, said it was in support of such a dialogue, insofar as it was meant to advance the good of the people.

“The Congress is not opposed to any form of national dialogue or conference or conversation as long as it is geared towards improving the quality of life of the Nigerian people, strengthen  the bonds of unity, advance the cause of democracy, build our economy, create an enabling environment for the expression of our shared values and common heritage as well as defend our sovereignty,” NLC said in a statement by Uyot on Sunday.

According to the statement, the labour movement has been part of national dialogue, from colonial times to post -colonial Nigeria.

The labaour, he further explained, was part of the dialogue leading to the country’s independence and its acquisition of the status of a republic.

The NLC added that the labour movement  played a leading role in the process and subsequent  protests that culminated in the repudiation of the Anglo-Nigeria military pact that sought to make Nigeria an out-post of the British shortly after independence by way of establishing military bases in the country.

Uyot added that the Congress was not only part of the national “conferences” or dialogue contrived by the military and even the civilian government of President Olusegun Obasanjo, but played a significant role, offering in the process alternative views or development agenda.

He said, “It has no reason to shy away from any conference now. For the avoidance of doubt, the Congress believes Nigerians should regularly talk to themselves as well as talk to one another. 'The constituent parts should as often as practicable sit down to talk, to address the ills that plague our  politico-socio-economic well-being, not only at the federal level but right to the village square.

“The Congress holds the view that in as much as time or timing is of essence, motive is even more significant. Congress also believes that a meaningful dialogue can be achieved by men and women of character, wisdom, integrity, patriotism as well as courage,  and not charlatans or hirelings.”