THE Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday, blasted members of the Professor Itse Sagay – led Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC and asked them to stop living in the delusion of being corruption free because there is no saint among them.
The NLC specifically asked members of the panel to stop grandstanding in their pretense that they were clean, claiming that it has records of the members of the committee, it described as ‘come and chop’.
Reacting to the committee’s comments the labour unions are compromised and not trustworthy, the NLC, in a statement by its General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, 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 no where else.
The statement read: “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.
“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 NLC continued: “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.