Ayuba Wabba, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has waded into the ongoing political impasse in Tunisia, urging President Kais Saied to follow his country’s constitution.
Mr Wabba, who is also the President of the International Trade Union Congress (ITUC) made the call in a statement made available on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said the development in Tunisia had become of “great concern” to the Nigeria Labour Congress and has therefore decided to speak in solidarity with Tunisian workers.
”While we do not wish to meddle in the internal political processes of Tunisia, we feel a sense of duty to extend solidarity with Tunisian workers and trade union organisations, especially given their concerns for democratic stability, social dialogue, national cohesion and inclusive development,” Mr Wabba stated.
”The recent actions of Tunisia’s president relying on Article 80 of the Tunisian Constitution is viewed by some as necessary to arrest a relapse into the state of affairs that precipitated the mass protests which snowballed into the famed ‘Arab Spring’ revolution.”
”There are also those who view the president’s actions as too unilateral cum drastic and capable of eroding democratic rights and destabilising the state.
”These two domineering tributaries of public opinion in Tunisia appear to be confluent on political expediency and constitutionalism.
”We urge President Kais Saied to ensure that while undertaking reforms for the common good that the provisions of the Tunisian Constitution are held sacrosanct,” he added.
Mr Wabba said this was important as constitutionalism, especially with regards to upholding the rights of citizens, workers and trade unions, was crucial to inspiring and sustaining public confidence in the proposed reforms.
He said that it was also pivotal in ensuring that the current intervention did not degenerate into the subversion of democratic processes and emasculation of institutions of the state, especially the judiciary.
”We also believe that a national dialogue involving all the segments of the Tunisian society should be convened as soon as possible.
”Such a dialogue can give birth to a transitional programme with clear deadlines of returning Tunisian state institutions to normal democratic operations, healing the wounds of the past and fostering national development in an atmosphere of justice, peace and patriotism.
”We commend the Tunisian military for refusing to interfere in the political process in Tunisia and for maintaining the civilian character of the state.
”Finally, we commend the Tunisian Federation of Trade Unions (UGTT) for always standing with the people of Tunisia and for lending its voice and platform for the advancement of the interest of Tunisia.
”We pledge our solidarity at these trying times,” Mr Wabba said.