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Boko Haram kills 2,000 workers

Boko Haram has killed about 2,000 workers since the insurgency began.

The President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, who stated this in Abuja at the presentation of a report tagged ‘Employment and decent work for peace’, undertaking by the American Centre for International Labour Solidarity, urged state governments to provide succour to workers that lost their breadwinners to the insurgency.

“We have lost more than 2,000 workers teachers that include teachers, local government workers, and health workers because they are the first line of attack. Teachers have been particularly more affected because the ideology of the sect is their opposition to western education,” he said.

Wabba also lambasted some state governments for non-payment of benefits to the survivors of workers that lost their lives on active duty to the Boko Haram attacks.

He hinted that the NLC would write letter to the affected governors reminding them of the need to ameliorate the sufferings of orphans and widows that have been left behind.

“I am not happy because up to now, their benefits have not been paid. I therefore call on the states concerned to give priority to the dependants of those that have died as a result of insurgency attacks.

“We would write formal letters to the state governments to demand for the payment of teachers, civil servants, health workers and local government workers that have died in active service should be paid their benefits because what the unions are doing now is to fill the gaps that exist due to negligence. There are a huge number of orphans and widows that are suffering.”

The NLC helmsman stated that the labour unions would continue to work assiduously with development partners to address the issues of human and trade union rights, saying, “conflicts have been on the increase in recent times and the root of these conflicts can be traced to the near total absence of good governance and adherence to the rule of law. Once we deviate from respecting these principles, conflict is inevitable. Good governance can address poverty, education, health and building of infrastructure. If the widening gap of inequality is not urgently addressed, conflict will continue unabated.”

On his part, President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Bobboi Kaigama called for the prosecution of the political elites behind the festering of Boko Haram.

Kaigama urged the working class and friends of labour movement to go beyond providing succour to victims in the Internal Displacement Camps (IDPs) by collaborating for the prosecution of the political elites behind the act of terrorism.

He said: “To some of us that are students of history, our studies must not only be centred on the consequences of Boko Haram, but should try to understand the remote causes of the act of terrorism. Boko Haram adherents were first used as political thugs by the political elites of this country. We do know how Mohammed Yusuf came up with his group, who he was affiliated to, who and who were emboldening him, they are known to government, known to our international partners and equally known to international security organisations. But today, nobody is calling for the prosecution of those that encouraged Yusuf to start this insurgency that has resulted in the death and displacement of millions of our citizens.”

Kaigama also blamed desperation of the political class to retain power at all cost as one of the major drivers of the unending killings across the North East part of the country.

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