May Day: Atiku laments hardship, poor living conditions of Nigerian workers

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Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, in his 2021 May Day solidarity message to Nigerian workers, lamented what he described as the persistent and frightening economic decimation of the Nigerian working class.

He decried a situation where the Nigeria working class is faced with economic hardship and poor living conditions.

Speaking through his media adviser, Paul Ibe, in a statement, Atiku observed with concern that the conditions of the Nigerian workers are worrisome considering the socio-economic climate pervading the land.

The former Vice expressed dismay that basic food items are unaffordable, stressing that Nigerians are in a situation where the price of a bag of rice is nearly at par with the value of our minimum wage.

He lamented, “The increase in the national minimum wage has been matched or neutralised by astronomical inflation that is accelerating at a breath-taking rate almost daily. Even the locally produced foods are prohibitively expensive.”

The former Vice President noted that the Nigerian workers have never had it so bad, with the impacts of the lockdown and worsening inflation have taken their heaviest toll on the working class, adding that the situation is so bad that they are now living from hands to mouth.

According to him, this situation would only create favourable conditions for corruption and aggravate depression and mental health problems among civil servants.

He explained that these challenges of economic survival are not limited to the civil servants alone, but they affect the working class at all levels, including artisans and other low-income groups that are struggling desperately to put food on the table in the face of declining incomes and rising inflation.

According to the statement, the extravagant lifestyles of elected officials while poverty is decimating the people are a demonstration of insensitivity, saying that the government can not tell the ordinary people to make sacrifices while elected officials are reluctant to take the lead in making those sacrifices.

“Elected and appointed officials must at all levels cut down on their extravagant expenditures at the expense of the people,” he advised.

He advised that despite these challenges, Nigerians should not lose hope in the country, assuring that Nigeria is bigger than those who preside over its affairs.

He assured, “We have more common interests that unite us than things that divide us. Let us not allow anyone to use us as fighting tools while they are busy protecting their own interests.”

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