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NLC boss warns Nigerians over second wave of COVID-19


Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

 

WORRIED by the rapidity of infection of the second wave of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic in the country, the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged Nigerians not to let down their guard.

The NLC boss gave this admonition at the weekend during his yuletide message.

In a statement signed by Comrade Ayuba Wabba while admitting that COVID-19 led to great dislocation, despair and various other forms of socio-economic upheavals, he however said Nigerians should look forward to a bright new year with hope, inspiration and comfort.

In the statement which reads in part, Wabba noted that, “The current vicissitudes that punctuated the year 2020 will give rise to a better and brighter 2021. We believe that the afflictions of the Year 2020 will soon give way to a glorious triumph for Nigerian workers, their families and indeed for the Nigerian nation,” adding that “In the midst of a devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the application of Nigerian frontline workers to their duties was the difference in deaths in millions, as predicted in some parts of the world, and deaths in hundreds as we have been able to curtail the effect and impact of the landfall of the novel corona virus on our shores.”

The NLC top brass also acknowledged the efforts and sacrifices of frontline workers including healthcare workers, road transport workers, aviation workers, maritime workers, sanitation workers, agriculture workers, journalists, informal sector workers, and security personnel for leading the great battle against the menace of COVID-19.

He was however quick to add that, “We can make the sacrifice of our fallen heroes count as we renew our commitment to stopping the unrelenting virus even as it threatens a second global wave. We honour the memory of workers who gave their lives so we live when we maintain and improve on the health protocols that can help keep us, our families, our friends, and our colleagues safe.”

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The temptation to throw caution to the winds will be rife this festive season, he stressed, adding that this is not the time to be complacent.

“COVID-19 is real. The second wave of the deadly virus is palpable. We can mitigate against its impact if we observe all the necessary health protocols – wash our hands always with soap and running water, use hand sanitisers all the time, keep social distancing, wear mask when in public places, report any sign of COVID-19 to designated health authorities and submit to treatment once diagnosed.”

Nigerians, especially workers, Wabba noted, “Have suffered a lot of downturns and reversals this year. While wages remained constant, fuel and electricity prices have been severally and arbitrarily increased inducing a galloping inflation. Government must steer away from making workers’ burden an ounce more grievous. This will be resisted. Workers cannot be the cannon fodder for the misgovernance of successive years.

“While we encourage workers to adhere to health safety protocols as issued by relevant authorities coordinating the national effort against COVID-19, we call on government to balance the options of another lockdown with its capacity to live up to its responsibility of catering to the welfare of workers and citizens that such lockdown would rob of their means of livelihood. The public tumults linked to the last lockdown instruct that compassion, consultation and communication must lead.”

 



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