- Passes Vote Of No Confidence On Lagos Judicial Panel, NLC, TUC
A Civil Society Coalition, Joint Action Front (JAF) has urged the Nigerian working population and young people to form a broad movement capable of causing a systemic change and bring about good governance in the country.
According to the group, only a systemic change that is devoid of political, ethnic and religious colourations can put an end to the exploitation and oppression of citizens that have been entrenched in the Nigeria’s governance system for decades.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos, Thursday, the Deputy Chairman of JAF, Comrade Achike Chude said the group’s demand for social justice follows the #EndSARS campaign in the country and its aftermath; the humongous hoarding of Covid-19 palliatives by state governments and politicians; and the role of Nigerian government and its military forces in all that transpired.
Chude, who called for an independent panel of enquiry to investigate the incidence of police brutality in the country said the judicial panel set up by the Lagos government to investigate the infamous Lekki Toll Plaza shootings cannot be trusted.
“We hold that the government has been characteristically telling lies about the casualties of the Lekki shooting. It is also reprehensible and irresponsible that President Buhari did not mention the Lekki shooting in his last national broadcast. All this was done to cover up the crime against humanity committed by the Buhari government. So, we don’t have trust in the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos government to Probe Lekki shooting.
“Rather, we would call for an independent panel of enquiry comprising representatives of civil society organisations, the Bar associations, medical associations, youth groups, trade unions and media to probe the Lekki shooting and other state sponsored attacks on peaceful protests in Lagos and across the country.”
Calling for an overhaul of systems in the country to stop citizens exploitation and oppression by the minority few, the group said: “We want to change that system and replace it with a system where the working people and millions of people who are suffering under the system exploitation will win power and ensure that the wealth of Nigeria is used to ensure a good life for the majority of the people who are exploited and oppressed.
“Therefore, system change is not replacing one exploiter’s government by another exploiter’s government. It is replacing an exploiter’s government by a people’s government to reorganize Nigeria and put an end to exploitation and oppression.”
JAF, in a statement jointly signed by Chude and the group’s Secretary, Comrade Abiodun Aremu, condemned the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress for reversing its policy stand on privatisation and deregulation following the recent hike in electricity tariffs and PMS pump price.
“We call on the trade unions and workers to demand a truly democratically run NLC and TUC with a fighting leadership that will consistently defend the interests and rights of workers and the poor masses.”
JAF also berated labour for failing to provide leadership for the #EndSARS protesters who also used the campaign to demand for the abolishment of what they described as anti-people policies, saying, “such a struggle over fuel price and electricity could have even had more support and thereby forced the government to reverse its anti-poor decision.
“We in JAF support the struggle for good governance. However, to us, good governance is not as defined by the World Bank and IMF which means an enthronement of privatization, deregulation and other anti-poor neo-liberal policies,” the group stated, adding that the adherence to such policies by successive administrations has led to mass poverty and unemployment in Africa’s largest country.