By Joan Nwagwu
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged workers to have hope amidst the fight to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, said this in a goodwill message to workers on the occasion of the 2020 Easter celebration.
According to hiim, for the first time in a long time, Easter festivities, the world over, is taking place behind closed doors owing to the insurgence of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The unfortunate encroachment of COVID-19 in the way we work, play, live and worship especially during this season of Easter inspires us that what began as doom and death on Good Friday will soon give way to the brightness of resurrection and victory on Easter Sunday.
“This is no mere coincidence. God is sending us a message of hope that after this night of weeping, there shall be joy in our morning.
“Humanity had overcome more calamitous plagues, we will overcome COVID-19, while we focus on the victory ahead.
“We must also reflect on the lessons that the sobriety enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting global lockdown offer. These lessons are also the lessons of Easter.
“Easter reminds us of God’s love for the whole world. COVID-19 reminds us of a shared humanity.
“We are in this together. COVID-19 reminds us that what touches the nose will soon touch the eyes,” he said.
Wabba said the rich countries, poor climes, developed economies, struggling societies, workers, owners of capital, politicians, peasants, aristocrats, artisans, were all affected by this global pandemic that feared neither class nor status.
He added that this imposed on us a new sense of awakening to re-order our priorities. Government must now major on the major. We must rededicate ourselves to issues that bother the majority.
The NLC president said that the focus must be efficient, resilient and inclusive health and education systems.
“Given the impact of COVID-19, we must prioritise jobs preservation, income recovery and the creation of new jobs. This is about our collective will to survive.
“This Easter commemoration also demands a lot of sacrifice from all of us just as Jesus Christ sacrificed His life as a ransom for the sins of the world.
“We are greatly indebted to the sacrifice shown by frontline workers in the health, transport, and services sector, both formal and informal.
“Their huge personal sacrifices are making a world of difference between mass deaths and the safety of majority of us,” he said.
He, therefore, said that all must emulate the sacrifice of love and make their jobs a lot easier by following all directives of government geared toward containing the onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that until government said otherwise we must all stay home, stay safe and remain vigilant.
“Finally, fellow workers, there is no better time to show love than this Easter period. The whole lessons of Easter are summarised by love.
“Now is the time for the rich to remember the poor, the homeless, the hungry, the widows, the unemployed, the distraught and distressed in their troubles.
“By identifying with the needy especially at this time, we will not only be carrying the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ but demonstrating the highest form of piety and worship to our Lord,” Wabba said.
He called on security agents who are also part of the frontline workers against the COVID-19 challenge to demonstrate great restraint during the lockdown in many states of the federation.
He also said the congress condemned molestation of workers on essential duty, saying that there was no sense in losing more citizens to bullets than the bite of COVID-19.
“Our heart and prayers go to all those who have lost dear ones to COVID-19 pandemic or suffered other forms of loss.
“While we look forward to the resurrection that Easter Sunday brings, our faith remains unshaken that this dark cloud will soon pass away.
“We believe that we shall arise from this pandemic better, wiser, and stronger. Please have a most fulfilling Easter Holidays,” he added.(NAN)