Yesterday, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for president, informed the organized labor that none of the major candidates for president could be trusted with authority and leadership.
This was said by Tinubu at a town hall meeting held at the Chida Hotel in Utako and sponsored by the Labour Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (APC-PCC).
The APC candidate asserted that he is the man most suited to lead Nigeria and that he is also the only one who is actively engaged in the battle for good government.
Although the former governor of Lagos omitted mentioning the names of the other candidates, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) fit the description he provided exactly.
In a press release issued by Tinubu’s media office and signed by Tunde Rahman, he pleaded with the labor unions to back him in the 2023 presidential race, citing his record of effective leadership.
As president of Nigeria, he said that some of the issues he would be addressing included unemployment, a lack of a credit system to assist workers in purchasing homes, poverty, difficulties in the education sector, and a poor industrial foundation.
“Today, the questions you all must ask yourselves are these: who can be trusted to accomplish all of this? The man who has done it before, or the man whose most lasting achievement as Vice President is the corrupt sale of national assets to his friends and cronies?
“Who has the better plan? The man whose blueprint guided the emergence of Lagos State as fifth largest economy in Africa or the man whose greatest pride is the amount of money he managed to bury in sand while his state’s infrastructure decayed and its workers suffered endless hardship?
“The choice is yours. But permit me to now talk a little about myself and my vision.
“I have always been and will continue to be a progressive democrat. In my worldview, government has a cardinal responsibility to work, not only with business, but also with labour to ensure that all constituent parts of our society are afforded their fair share of rewards without taking on undue hardship.”
According to him,
“As organised labour, you have been at the forefront of the workers’ rights movement in Nigeria, championing economic fairness and the welfare of the average person, the weak and the forgotten.
“You have also been involved in the struggle for democracy and political rights. Your collective efforts breathed life into the democratic rights and economic ideals enshrined in our constitution. I can speak fondly of your impact on our nation, because of my personal history on the frontlines of the social justice movement.
“I may be running for president now, but I was not always in this position. Long before I started running for the presidency, I was running away from military dictators angered by my important role in protests against them and their efforts to vanquish our democratic aspirations.”
Tinubu said the defining moment of his public life came during Nigeria’s struggle for democracy and his membership in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO)
“I have dedicated my entire being to that cause. I was detained, then was forced into exile, because of my refusal to accept anything less than a government based on the proposition that the will of the people is sovereign and should reign over armed might and imposition.
“I believe that those assembled here today share the same ideals of progressive and democratic good governance. I have spent my political life advocating for the rights and interests of ordinary Nigerians as you also do. We have long been fellow travellers on the same road. I hope that we shall continue as friends and brothers.”
According to Tinubu, if elected, his administration would ensure that the fiscal and monetary policies benefited Nigerians and workers so they could live well. In order to provide more people with better-paying opportunities and to expand the number of new industries that the younger generation can take advantage of, he added that he would see to it that the nation through a tremendous industrialization.
When it comes to discussing important policy matters and collaborating, Tinubu committed to promote a closer relationship with organized labor.
Ayuba Wabba, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Festus Osifo, his counterpart from the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and Adams Oshiomole, deputy director-general of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), among others, were present.
The APC nominee was accompanied by his running partner Kashim Shetimma, members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, Governors of the states of Kebbi, Jigawa, and Kwara, members of the PCC, and party chieftains.
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