Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, has said the actions of President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo, were a representation of how badly the country had treated its workforce over the last three years.
Atiku spoke through a statement by Media Campaign Organisation in Abuja on Wednesday in reaction to the federal government’s denial of Buhari’s endorsement of the N30, 000 new minimum wage.
Accusing the leaders of insensitivity towards the workers, the presidential candidate disclosed that the two leaders collect hardship allowances of 50 per cent of their annual basic salary while the “long-suffering Nigerian workers, who were the main sufferers of the hardship,” had nothing and “are expected to live on unrealistic minimum wage.”
He noted that approbation and reprobation were characteristics of the Buhari administration describing them as “evidence of lack of leadership at the very top that is putting our economy in peril.”
He said in the statement: “Just two weeks ago, two of the world’s largest banks, HSBC and UBS, pulled out of Nigeria citing lack of policy stability as their reason.
“This same reason was given by Procter and Gamble when they pulled out last year. In the span of the three years that this administration has been in office, more than 500 companies have pulled out of Nigeria for similar reasons.
“A government is only as reliable as its word and if its word is not reliable then nothing else about the government will be stable. This is why Nigeria suffered from a recession under this administration and it’s right now at risk of another recession.
“At the risk of repeating ourselves, we urge the Buhari administration to note that Nigerian workers are the goose that lays the golden egg that top members of this government are enjoying to the detriment of those laying the egg.
“We are aware that both President Buhari and Vice-President Osinbajo, despite living and feeding at the public expense, collect a hardship allowance of 50 per cent of their annual basic salaries, whereas, the long-suffering Nigerian workers, who are the main sufferers of the hardship caused by the incompetence of this administration, do not have any hardship allowance and are expected to live on the unliveable minimum wage of the Buhari government.”
Atiku recalled that it is in this same period of Buhari/Osinbajo leadership that Nigeria was officially declared the world headquarters for extreme poverty by the World Poverty Clock and the World Economic Forum positing that: “We can only change this by paying our workers a living wage as opposed to the starvation wages now paid to them by the Buhari administration,” the statement added.
He called on the President to keep faith with the agreement, which he said his government freely reached with labour and affirm the new minimum wage.
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