The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called out the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) led by controversial Professor Itse Sagay, telling them that they are not saints while asking them to stop living in the delusion of being corruption free.
The NLC on Thursday told Sagay and other members of the committee to stop grandstanding that they were clean, describing them as members of ‘come and chop’. In reaction to the committee’s comments the labour unions are compromised and not trustworthy, the NLC General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, in a statement said certain level of sophistication or polish was expected of the PACAC members.
The NLC leadership said it found it intriguing that PACAC members only saw corruption in the national and state houses of assembly and nowhere else.
“We wish to register our dismay at the trenchant, libelous and condemnatory response of members of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption to a harmless observation by the Acting General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress that it would have been good if NLC and TUC were made members of the committee,” the NLC stated.
“Leading the assault, Professor Femi Odekunle said “the labour leaders are corrupt”, compromised, no longer trustworthy and cannot protest against acts of corruption.
“Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, the Executive Secretary of the committee said the fact that unions do not protest against corruption at the National and State Assemblies as state governors award themselves sickening pensions while workers go without pay, is evidence that unions are collaborators or beneficiaries of these acts of corruption.
“Professor Etannibi Alemika said he is disappointed by the request of the Organised Labour to be on the committee.
“Professor Itsay Sagay averred that the inclination of the unions or trade centres to be on the committee is ‘… a very wrong attitude, very negative attitude.’
“We at the Nigeria Labour Congress, consider the comments of the PACAC members to be the height of conceit, arrogance and self-righteousness.
“We cannot dispute the fact of bad eggs in the labour movement as, indeed, in other sectors of the society, including the academia and the legal profession, but it is no justification for dismissing the entire Labour with such disdain or casualness,” the statement read.
It further went on to state: “We state without equivocation that corrupt labour leaders do not represent the mainstream and cannot be held to be the beacons of labour. Having said this, PACAC members must have been suffering from selective amnesia not to have remembered the protest rallies across the states against the criminal pensions of retiring governors and nonpayment of salaries and pensions for which not a few workers were shot and killed. “How could they have forgotten our visit to the Senate during which a blistering address was delivered against the life style of parliamentarians. How could they have waved aside so easily the numerous protest rallies to the National Assembly on sundry issues?”