The President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has advised workers to take their destinies in their hands by obtaining voter cards to vote out governors, who refuse to pay salaries and allowances.

Wabba, who spoke during a visit to workers in Benue State, said it was a shame that the state government had refused to pay workers, despite collecting bailout fund and Paris Club refund.

He described the Benue situation as the worst scenario.

The NLC president said record from Benue, which showed the state was in arrears for seven months in ministries and parastatals; 11 months in local governments and teaching institutions, and 13 months of pension arrears was alarming and a shame.

Wabba condemned refusal of the government to pay salaries, pensions and gratuities after collecting bailout funds and Paris Club refunds, saying the congress would no longer fold its arms and watch state government exploit workers and deny them their entitlements.

He said it was shocking that whereas most states, relatively speaking, had met salary and pension obligations to workers and pensioners, Benue State government had been indifferent and insincere to workers and pensioners.

The NLC president said refusing to pay salaries was illegal (as it violates rules of employment), callous, morally reprehensible and a betrayal of the trust of workers and pensioners, who voted the government into office.

He said considering the pains and suffering brought upon workers, pensioners and their families, NLC had no hesitation in supporting any lawful action, including a strike, in pursuit of their salaries, pensions and gratuities.

Comrade Wabba urged the workers and pensioners to remain united and not allow the government or anyone to distract them from their objectives.

He told the workers that experience showed that state governments were not ready to pay salaries and pensions without a fight, noting that it is up to them to do the needful to ensure regular payment of salaries and pensions.

As a long term strategy, the NLC boss urged the workers and their families to ensure they obtain voter cards and exercise their franchise, using their numbers.

He said: “Most governors believe workers don’t vote. This explains the shabby treatment meted out to them. Workers must take their destinies in their hands by registering and voting wisely.”

Wabba stressed that the congress could no longer fold its arms while workers were mistreated.

He assured them that the national headquarters will support them to pursue their demands.

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