The Academic Staff Union of Universities and former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, have lamented the worsening plight of Nigerian workers under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
In a statement to mark the International Workers’ Day on Saturday, Ayoola Akinwole, the University of Ibadan chairman of ASUU, noted that corruption and insecurity are the trademarks of the Buhari.
The statement titled ‘Buhari-led administration: The real enemy of Nigerian workers’ said all workers should rise in defence of the dignity of labour.
He also urged workers to “resist the flagrant disregard for human rights and the rule of law in the country.”
“We must resist the ploy of government and its agents to divide us. We must resist their divide-and-rule strategies,” he said.
The statement further read, “The government of the day has continued to turn a deaf ear to the agitations of labour unions and cries of the masses.
“They often request patience and understanding. Yet, impunity, financial impropriety and corruption have become the trademark of this Buhari-led administration.
“The Nigerian government continues to pass the burden of hardship and misery to Nigerian workers and the masses. The abductions and killings of students at all levels have become embarrassing to the country. Human beings are now a commodity of trade in Nigeria. This portends nothing but doom for the future of Nigeria.”
Akinwole stated that despite the unpalatable conditions, the government continued to label constructive and objective criticisms as “hate speech” when the citizens speak truth to power.
On his part, Atiku decried what he referred to as the persistent and frightening economic decimation of the living standard of Nigerian workers.
In his May Day message titled ‘Atiku bemoans economic decimation of workers,’ signed by Paul Ibe, his aide, the ex-vice president expressed displeasure with the growing rate of inflation that had pushed many workers into poverty.
He said: “The Nigerian workers have never had it so bad. The impacts of the lockdown and worsening inflation have taken their heaviest toll on the working class. The situation is so bad that they are now living from hand to mouth.”
Atiku further called for a reduction in the cost of governance to improve workers welfare.