The Nigerian Bar Association on Monday commended the Nigeria Labour Congress for suspending its strike in the spirit of Monday’s Independence Day anniversary.

Calling on government at all levels to renew its pledges to work for the betterment of the lives of the people, the NBA noted that the demand by the NLC for an increase of the “stagnant” N18,000 national minimum wage had merit.

The President of the NBA, Mr Paul Usoro (SAN), made this call in his statement, which he issued on behalf of the association to mark Nigeria’s 58th Independence Day anniversary on Monday.

The NLC on Sunday had suspended its warning strike to pave the way for the tripartite negotiation with the government to resume.

The NBA said on Monday that the current N18, 000 minimum wages “takes no account of inflationary and living condition trends.”

Usoro said, “Government at all levels must renew its pledges to work for the betterment of the lives of our people thereby recording tangible dividends of independence for the Nigerian people.

“In that respect, the NBA applauds the initiative and maturity of the Nigeria Labour Congress in calling off its indefinite labour strike on the eve of our independence anniversary.

“Their maturity in calling off the strike should not be misunderstood as a lack of merit in labour’s demand for an increased minimum wage, from the stagnant N18, 000.00 that takes no account of inflationary and living condition trends. It is our hope and expectation that the government negotiation will continue apace with the labour negotiations, notwithstanding the fact that the strike has been called off and, in the process, achieve a resolution that the parties could live with.”

The NBA also called on the political class not to divide Nigerians for personal gains.

He said as the 2019 elections approached with the just-concluded Osun State governorship election as a precursor, Nigerian leaders “need to consciously resolve, on this Independence Day anniversary of our nation, to make a difference in the lives of our people.”

While calling politicians not to pollute the judiciary, he urged lawyers and judges to uphold the ethics of their profession.

“Finally, politics must not be allowed to debase our temple of justice and the rule of law in our country. Our judiciary and the rule of law must remain sacrosanct.”