It appears covid-19 is a blessing in disguise.
Former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has decried the victimization of the ordinary Nigerian whom he described as the main driving force of the Nigerian economy. He said the current challenges facing the country today presents a great opportunity for government to show its love and appreciation for the masses.
Atiku in his speech marking Workers Day on May 1st, 2020, said while no one ever envisaged that the global economy could afford to shutdown for several weeks with heavy consequences on businesses – both public and private sector, he however, thinks it is irresponsible of government to make Nigerians pay the ultimate price for a situation that’s not their doings.
He also spoke on reports about “how companies and corporations are laying off staff and cutting wages,” saying workers should not made to bear the cost especially when they are the most affected by the lockdown.
He said it is unfortunate that “Even many state governments in Nigeria could not pay monthly dues to workers who, even before the lockdown, lived on subsistent means, while some others are slashing workers’ salary on account of the Covid19 situation.
“This is a grossly irresponsible thing to do. It will be wrong of us as a society to say that the weakest of us, should bear the pain of this affliction. The reverse should be the case. It will not be asking for too much to urge the National Assembly to forbid any employer of Labour from penalizing workers in the effect of the pandemic.
“The grim reality of the situation that we are in today calls for greater understanding between government and Labour. It is therefore time that both entities saw each other as partners in progress.
“On the occasion of this year’s Workers Day, I join many across the world in solidarity with the Nigerian workers in particular who have been making great sacrifices to keep our frontiers firm.
“I want to however take solace in the can-do Nigerian spirit. We shall not give up. We shall not give in. It will take more than Covid19 and the consequential lockdown to knock us down. It will not be easy, but standing united, we can rebuild our country because it is the place we call home.”