The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have pledged to support, campaign and do everything within their power to ensure the Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi wins in 2023.
The NLC and TUC Presidents, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and Quadri Olaleye made the pledge in their different welcome addresses during the 10th anniversary lecture in honour of the third President of NLC, the late Pascal Bayau, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Speaking to the congregation of high-profile labour leaders and members who gathered at the lecture, Wabba stated that Obi was among the finest Nigerians and the first presidential candidate of the Labour Party to be recognised by the labour Centre.
The NLC President said the Congress was solidly behind the Labour Party candidate and would fully mobilise to ensure the victory of the party come 2023 general elections.
He also recalled that workers’ unions have realised that strikes and protests alone cannot change the narratives in Nigeria, which informed the full venture into politics and work hard to support candidates whose mantra will make life better for their members and Nigerians at large.
Olaleye said Obi was a face among the presidential candidates all labour unions are pleased and ready to work with, and that the entire labour movement had accepted, adopted and would support, and ensure workers massively voted for him in the 2023 presidential elections.
He further said the Labour Party was stronger, one and formidable.
The TUC president added that the party had a widespread structure, as there was a worker and a member of either TUC and NLC in every family across Nigeria.
He insisted that the Labour Party was the only party for Nigerian workers.
The former Anambra Governor said his visit to the leadership of the two labour centres was not to campaign but for a courtesy call; to honour the Organised Labour on whose party and interest he was seeking Nigerians’ vote in the 2023 general elections.
Obi said: “My commitment is to move Nigeria from consumption to production and you can’t talk about production without labour. Labour is the engine of production, capital and machines can do anything but labour is what makes it work. Because labour is the greatest contributor to production, it has to be properly remunerated.
“I don’t need to tell you how bad things are in this country today. if you are on wages, today Nigerians spend 100 per.cent of their wages on just feeding. So many don’t even know where their next meal will come from. They pay to train their children only for them to finish school and stay at home without work.
“These are issues we need to discuss. Nobody can be president without sitting down with the labour organisation to decide the future of Nigeria.
“We can no longer have a situation where the leaders are here and workers are there. They must sit on the same table and talk. That is the beginning of the solution, that is what is happening all over the world.
“Nigeria is not a producing country. The collective effect of what we are suffering today is bad leadership. We have a leadership that concentrates on sharing. So you have to move from sharing formula to production formula.
“This is a country of 200 million people sitting on 923,000 square kilometers of land. They can’t feed themselves, they can’t export anything.
“Total Nigeria’s export including oil is under $2 billion for 200 million people. A similar country, not a first world country, one with the same trajectory with Nigeria in the year 2000, Vietnam, sitting on 331,000 square kilometers of land, a third of Nigeria’s land space and 100 million population, with half of Nigeria’s population, their total earnings last year was $ 312 billion.”
He said that more than half of the country’s youths of productive age were unemployed, stating “This is what the Labour Party is seeking to sit down to discuss for the future.