By Nwafor Okafor, Awka
The Anambra State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress ( NLC) has declared support for the the candidate of the Labour Party(LP) in the 2023 General Elections, Mr Peter Obi.
Sequel, the workers have constituted a political mobilisation committee headed by a former NLC chairman in the state, comrade Charles Onyeagba.Other members of the committee include: immediate past NLC chairman in the state , Jerry Nnubia( vice chairman) Odiegwu Anthony ( secretary), Chukwuka Gaius( assistant secretary), Maduabum Patricia ( treasurer), Nweke Ifeanyi( PRO/organising secretary). Other members of the committee are: Ubani ABC, Odili Chike, Cele-Okeafor Ngozi, Uyanwunne Eucharia, Ikeazor Charles and Onyejiaka Emmanuel.
Inaugurating the committee,the NLC chairman in the state, Mrs Chinwe Orizu, said the decision to constitute the NLC Political Committee was an instruction from the national leadership of the NLC to set up such organs in all the states of the federation to ensure the victory of the LP in next year’s presidential poll.
She said the time had gone when workers in the country would appear to be apolitical and allowed mediocrity to thrive.
She said,”We are not talking of political parties now. This is workers’ movement. We call it workers’ movement because the workers want to take over the political power of this country. We no longer want to sit on the fence. That’s why it the 2023 project is called workers’ movement. Every worker in Nigeria should be involved. We need to educate our workers. NLC seed it as a duty that in Labour Party our dream will be fulfilled by you and I that are oppressed as workers in Nigeria.
“Workers of this country have been so much oppressed. The money they give us as take-home does not take us home again. We’re just suffering, and the suffering is not ending. Let’s have it at the back of our mind that this is holy anger. We should rise in holy anger to defend this moment that is called workers’ movement. We’ve greater job because the movement is like in our home. Anambra is the seat of this movement. We, workers of Anambra State, will take upon ourselves to see that this labour movement is actualised; to see that the oppressed will have a say. It’s now or never.
“You see people sharing dollars;look at ASUU is on strike because the government has reneged in the agreement signed in 2009: and we are in 2022. Next week this country will be shut down in protest because our government is insensitive to the plight of the workers; to the plight of the downtrodden. It’s the children of you and I that are sitting at home for this past six months of ASUU strike. If care is not taken so many of them will not go back to school whenever the will be called back to school because they have been frustrated. In Nigeria, in a four-year course if you come out from it in six or seven years you thank your stars. What are we saying. Enough is enough for this injustice. The labour say injury to one is injury to to all. These people have injured us enough that we should take the bull by the horns. It’s no longer business as usual. The workers have come out. It not a geographical thing because if you go to the North, the poverty is greater in the north. Everybody is crying; everybody. Every where you go now what you here is are ‘Obidient’? That’s the mandate, because when the righteous man is on the throne, the people rejoice. It’s not about party now that we are talking about ; it about who will salvage this country. So, let’s know now that it our duty to protect our own. It’s our duty to ensure that Anambra being the seat or this movement, we should make a difference. In that vein, I’m looking at these political committee members as those that must deliver.”
In his acceptance speech, the chairman of the committee, Charles Onyeagba, admonished the workforce to be wary of political jobbers who would definitely want to destabilize the movement
He said, “We clearly understsnd what has been said and what is before us. A catalogue of the problems of Nigeria and what is happening nation-wide is not new to any of us. This movement by NLC is overdue. The Nigeria Labour Congress – political wing – was actually formed about 2001/2002 but nothing came out of it because of a lot of factors that affected it all over the place. In 2002, the NLC mobilised to such an extent that the then federal government felt threatened that they were going to be toppled by a kind of civilian coup d’etat. That was when they formed this thing they call governors’ forum. The governors came together that year in attempt to make sure they cut the rising power of the Labour. The governors who didn’t agree that we would have a common minimum wage decided to come together and figght us.
” I’m sure that if this movement takes off, they way it should, we should expect another gang up, from not only the federal government, but from the ruling parties in Nigeria. And right now we’re two of such parties, the APC and the PDP. So, if the see the Labour Party as a dominant party that will oppose the status quo, they will come after us. But, we are used to struggles. And once we are properly organised, nothing will set us back. The good thing about this movement is that we won’t scout for membership; our members are all over the place. Once you start speaking for somebody he is bound to follow you. It’s been noticed by all and sundry that the two parties I have mentioned don’t speak for anybody. They make their promises; and when the take power they abandon the people. You can look at APC, all the promises to made since 2015, nothing; security nothing; economy; education- zero. Now they are making fresh promises; nobody should be deceived again, ” Onyeagba stated.