Oshiomhole endorses Wabba-led new NLC exco

Ayuba Wabba
Ayuba Wabba

Former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has congratulated the new President of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, on his election, urging him to provide a focused and dynamic leadership for the labour movement.
Oshiomhole also appealed to those who feel aggrieved by the outcome of the Congress to resist the temptation of convening a factional congress either on Fridayor at any other date. He asked them to sheathe their swords and extend a hand of fellowship to the new President to help reposition the Congress .
In a congratulatory letter addressed to the new NLC President, Oshiomhole said: I am pleased to offer my hearty felicitation over your election as President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) during the just concluded 11th National Delegates Conference of the Congress. Your emergence as President of the NLC, in a hitch-free exercise, is no doubt well deserved. It is a befitting recognition of your leadership capabilities, sound trade union antecedents, loyalty and commitment to the Nigerian Labour Movement.
It must be obvious to you by now, Comrade President, that the Nigerian Labour Movement, and in particular, the Congress has lost a significant amount of prestige and influence in the eyes of the Nigerian working people and the Nigerian public at large. The Nigerian people no longer see the Congress as the “voice of voiceless” and a bulwark against socio-economic and political oppression and injustices in the polity. The Congress is essentially viewed as either being complicit or at best indifferent to the cries of the poor working class people and the middle class citizens who are daily at the receiving end of an unjust social order.
It is against this background that your leadership must see its historic role beyond the “bread and butter” issues, to re-assert its independence, re-connect with grassroots workers, including the forgotten rural majority and position itself as a major player in shaping Nigeria’s polity, economy and society consistent with the true traditions of the Congress and the interests of the Nigerian working families.
There is no appropriate moment than now to also work assiduously to reposition the Congress and brace up to the challenge of revolution of expectations of the affiliates of the Congress and Nigerians as a whole, while also providing a focused and dynamic leadership that will chart a new course for the Nigerian labour movement as vanguard in the struggle for good governance, democratic consolidation and social justice.
Concomitantly, there is also the challenge of re-uniting and rebuilding confidence amongst all the affiliates of the Congress in the spirit of unity and solidarity that the Nigerian Labour Movement shares. In the same vein, there is also the important task of deepening the strategic connection between the Congress and the Nigerian civil society.
It is also crucial that we all recognize the urgent need to lift the Congress above the divisive and primordial differences now surreptitiously creeping into the Congress, and restore the pre-eminent position of the Congress as the foremost pan-Nigerian institution it has always been, capable of uniting all Nigerians around critical issues of development and good governance, irrespective of their religious, ethnic or regional background.
I must emphasize, at this juncture, that as Comrade President, you must see your victory as a collective and not personal one. Your tenure to lead the NLC is coinciding with one of the most critical periods in Nigeria’s history, politically and economically. Definitely, these are, indeed, challenging times that call for a more proactive and constructive approach in the defence of the interests of not only the working people but the entire Nigerian citizens. In this context, it is necessary that the new Congress leadership sharpens its capacity to engage public and private institutions at all levels in Nigeria and provide the needed checks and balances in the on-going democratic contestations in the polity.
May I wish you a successful tenure and assure you of my continuing solidarity, cooperation and support at all times.
Let me seize this opportunity to appeal to my Comrades, in particular, Comrades Joe Ajaero, Issa Aremu and Igwe Achese to resist the temptation of convening a factional congress either on Friday or at any other date.
Having fought the good fight, there is honour in conceding to defeat even in the face of imperfections.
I enjoin them all to submit to the demands of democratic principles by extending the hands of fellowship to the new leadership in order to get on with the task of repositioning the Congress.
As generally understood, in a typical Trade Union election, everybody is a winner; there are no losers. After all, as trade unionists, we are all Comrades, irrespective of our ideological or group political orientations.
These are challenging times, no doubt, and our Comrades need to be more circumspect. They should look at the bigger picture rather than being pre-occupied with personal grievances, considering that most of the issues in contention have been since resolved.
I also wish to call on the new President to extend genuine reconciliatory hands to the aggrieved parties in the interest of unity and solidarity of the Nigerian labour movement.
Nobody stands to benefit from any action that will weaken the Nigerian Labour Movement. Under no circumstances should labour activists be seen to be involved in any action that is capable of undermining the image, unity, strength and solidarity of the Nigerian labour movement.
We should not allow the class enemies of the Nigerian labour movement capitalize on temporal internal disagreement to further execute their evil agenda of weakening the moral authority of the leadership of the Nigerian labour movement.

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