PRESS STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN OF PUBLICITY SUB COMMITTEE, 2019 MAY DAY PREPARATORY COMMITTEE
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media,
Comrades and fellow Nigerians
We wish to announce that all is now set for the 2019 May Day celebration. As is custom, the 2019 May Day will be jointly celebrated by the two labour centres in Nigeria; the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The theme of this year’s May Day is ”Another 100 Years of Struggle for Jobs, Dignity and Social Justice in Nigeria”. The choice of this theme is in solidarity with the One Hundred Years (Centenary) Celebration of the International Labour Organization (ILO). As you know, the ILO was established in 1919 as the only premier global organization with tripartite representation of workers, government and employers in the private sector. Upon the formation of the United Nations (UN) in 1948, the ILO was the first specialized agency to be affiliated with the UN.
The history of the Nigeria working class and the Nigerian nation with the ILO is indeed a very rich one. Nigeria was the first African Country to host the African Field Office (AFO) of the ILO through an agreement signed between the Government of Nigeria and the ILO on 14th January, 1959. Furthermore, Nigeria played host to the first ILO African Regional Conference from December 5 -16, 1960 in Lagos. Nigeria was also among the first African countries to ratify the core ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on Freedom of Association, Rights to Organize and Right to Collective Bargaining, respectively. Nigeria’s founding fathers captured these conventions in our national Constitution.
On the occasion of the 2019 May Day, we will be reviewing our engagement as a movement with the polity. Our overarching focus will be the state of the nation, the state of our struggle and international solidarity of the working class. Our leadership will be speaking to the issues of creation of mass decent jobs especially through industrialization and diversification of the national economy, human dignity, public service, social services and workers’ rights. We will also speak on the mutually benefitting relationship between us and the ILO.
Some of the highlights of the 2019 May Day will be the address by the leadership of our movement, speeches by high ranking government officials and our social partners, march pass by all the affiliates of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, the speech by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who is expected as our Special Guest of Honour and the cutting of the 2019 May Day Cake.
We expect to have a very colourful May Day as a testament to the commitment of Nigerian workers to nation building, national progress and unity. We have made necessary arrangement to ensure the safety and comfort of all workers, our guests and the general public during the celebration of this year’s May Day.
We use this medium to once again call on all our friends and allies in the broader civil society movement, diplomatic corps, bilateral and multilateral international institutions and various agencies of government connected to our work to join us in celebrating the 2019 May Day which coincides with the Centenary Celebration of the ILO.
Viva Nigerian workers… Viva
Viva Nigerian Labour Movement… Viva
Viva International Working-Class Solidarity … Viva
Viva the International Labour Organization… Viva
Viva the Federal Republic of Nigeria… Viva
Aluta continua… Victoria Ascerta!
Comrade Engineer Sani Suleiman
Chairman, Publicity Sub Committee
28th April 2019