16 Mar 2015

Oshiomhole Congratulates New NLC President, Appeals To Ajaero, Others

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
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 Friday or 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
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
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
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
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.

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