Prepare to engage Buhari, Oshiomhole tells Labour | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Prepare to engage Buhari, Oshiomhole tells Labour

Posted: Apr 22, 2015 at 5:50 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•Says no time to waste on election disputes

By Innocent Oweh,



Governor of Edo State and former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Adams Oshiomhole, has charged the new leadership of the labour movement to be prepared to engage the in-coming administration of Gen Muhammadu Buhari on wage issues and industrialisation policies.

Oshiomhole who spoke against the backdrop of the election crisis rocking the NLC on Tuesday, in Abuja, said rather than trying to appease those aggrieved over the outcome of the union’s election, Labour should begin to reposition for the fight in interest of the common man who might be confronted with greater economic challenges.

At a courtesy visit he paid to the leadership of NLC under Ayuba Wabba, he said the labour movement in Nigeria has lost huge mileage and goodwill in the eyes of its members and the public.

He noted that with the success of the All Progress Congress (APC) at the recent general election, Labour has a huge task at hand to initiate the process of rebuilding the nation’s economy.

“I think at this point in time, Nigeria Labour Congress has a huge task of rebuilding the movement because there’s no doubt that you have lost a lot of mileage and a lot of goodwill in the eyes of ordinary Nigerians. Many believe that NLC went to sleep for almost eight years but it does not matter how long we went to sleep.

“I ask you to rebuild the movement, you must continue to be the vehicle for conveying discontent not only on wage questions but on the questions of public policies choices that have to do with the management of our economy.

“This economy has been run down over the past eight years and this country has over borrowed that our current debt profile leaves our previous situation a joke. If look at the numbers vis-a-vis the numbers we had before debt cancellation. I can see a lot of social tension going forward.

“The least you can do at this time is to have the leaders divided on petty issues. This is the time you need a united house. This is the time to offer workers comfort. What offers workers comfort is the existence of an articulate and focused labour movement. Even if I’m the president of Nigeria, you will need a strong labour to get the attention of government to the need of the people.” He said

While stressing that the result of a free and fair election must be binding on all true democrats who took part in the election, he called on Comrade Wabba and those aggrieved especially Comrade Joe Ajaero and those in his camp to embrace peace in the interest of the masses and engage the incoming administration meaningfully.

He lamented that for eight years, the nation under the outgoing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led administration has been run down even as he said the nation is more indebted more than it was.

He said Nigerian masses look up to a more organised and articulate labour movement to fight their cause than a divided house fighting over election.

To do this, he charged the leadership of NLC to make sure it work to ensure that the new government not only revisit the nation’s industrial policy but also get involved in the formulation of policies that are pro-poor.

His words: “ your election didn’t come easy because there were some challenges along the route. I took out time to participate in the first outing which ran into some political difficulties leading to the postponement and when it was reconvened I was able to be part of it. I’m convinced that NLC submitted to the rules of organisation and the Congress election was done very transparently at Eagle Square and so meticulous that the counting of votes took some time. All of which was designed to ensure that the outcome was such that no one can question it.

“The outcome reflect the will of Nigerian workers and there’s no honour that is greater than being elected by the productive forces of our great country. I’m not bugged down by those primordial sentiments of religious and ethnicity. For me that was exciting and I want to congratulate you for emerging at the end of that process as the President of Nigeria Labour Congress”.