The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have thrown their weight behind Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
NLC and TUC made the pledge in separate addresses on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in Abuja.
The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, speaking during the 10th Memorial Lecture in honour of the late Pascal Bafyau, said NLC is solidly behind Obi and will mobilise to ensure the victory of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections.
He noted that labour must dive fully into politics and work hard to support candidates whose mantra will make life better for their members and Nigerians at large.
TUC President, Mr Quadri Olaleye, on the other hand, said that “Obi is a face among the presidential candidates that all labour unions are pleased and are ready to work with.”
Olaleye stated that the entire labour movement has accepted, adopted and will support, and ensure workers massively vote for Obi in the 2023 presidential elections.
”The Labour Party is stronger, one and formidable and the party has a widespread structure, as there is a worker and members of either TUC or NLC in every family across Nigeria.”
In his remark, Obi said his visit to the leadership of the two labour centres was not to campaign, but a courtesy call to honour the organised labour on whose party and interest he is seeking Nigerians to vote in the 2023 general elections.
The former governor of Anambra State said workers are the main stakeholders in the quest for the economic development of any nation.
Obi said no one can honestly talk of improving production in any sector without factoring in the contribution of the workforce.
He said the reason the economy was lying almost prostrate today was that most of the loans being secured were being channelled towards consumption and unproductive ventures.
Obi also said that the reason the country’s revenue to GDP was low was that the country has remained unproductive.
Obi further said governance was all about the people, adding that as governor of Anambra state, he identified with the needs of the people.
Speaking on the harsh economic situation in the country, Obi’ said the way out was to return Nigeria to a productive nation.
“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 kilometres of land. They can’t feed themselves, they can’t export anything. Total of Nigeria’s export including oil is under $2 billion for 200 million population,” he said.
Obi said more than half of the country’s youths of productive age are unemployed.
“If you borrow for consumption, you are in problem, but if you borrow for production, you will progress,” he insisted.
Obi suggested that a law should be enacted to ensure that all loans by the government should be for productive ventures.
The Late Comrade Pascal Bafyau who was the third president of the NLC died on May 15, 2012.
According to Wabba, the emergence of the Bafyau as the president of NLC in 1988-1994 was very significant and it was no less historical and phenomenal.