The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) is going down memory lane on the occasion of this year’s May Day, recalling how its two governments of Kaduna and Kano states broke the ice “and set into motion a trend which no other tier of government in the Federation could stop”. The party is referring to how its Governors Balarabe Musa and Abubakar Rimi of Kaduna and Kano States respectively were the first governments to officially declare the International Workers’ Day On May 1st, 1980 as a public holiday in their respective states.
Thenceforth, the momentum became so irresistible and contagious that by the following year in 1981, the PRP example in Kaduna and Kano States was mimicked not only by the NPN Federal Government but also by other non-PRP state governments throughout Nigeria, the PRP said in a May Day statement.
Although the party recognises what it calls the very difficult and inauspicious circumstances in which 2020 May Day is taking place across the world, it says the situation is particularly pathetic in Nigeria “given the pre-existing high unemployment rates, the low levels of slave wages and the near-total absence of unemployment and social security benefits”.
Arguing on the imperative of taking time to mull over what it calls these dire challenges which stare them in the face directly, the National Chairman who signed the statement said workers must strategize creatively to find ways and means of confronting these challenges and fashioning out sustainable and durable exit solutions.
He identified the solution in workers taking the path of a joint, combined and broad political struggle to retake Nigeria “from the clutches of the oligarchs, political adventurers and neo-colonial lackeys”. Nigerian workers, said Alhaji Falalu Bello, did so in the last century under the leadership of such patriotic working class leaders like Chief Michael Imoudu and could do so again today.
Referencing the party’s “historic mission and unalloyed commitment to the proletarian reconstruction of Nigeria”, the Chairperson argues for broadening of the workers’ frontlines through the forging of solidarity fronts between workers’ organisations, professional groups, progressive political parties and other civil society organisations, advising Nigeria’s labour union leaders to find ways of linking up with all patriotic individuals and organisations in the ongoing struggle. This is not only to safeguard the hard-earned achievements of the country’s workers’ movement, but also the present threat to chip away some of these gains – such as wage cuts, and retrenchments without benefits, the statement explained.