From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The South East zone of Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), has called on the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to make an open declaration in support of the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi.
In a statement, the South East zonal Chairman of NUAHP, Comrade Charles Nwoye said in Nnewi, Anambra State that the call was part of the resolutions the union took after its meeting at Federal University Teaching Hospital, Owerri, Imo State.
“We wish to call on our superiors at the national level, the mother bodies to which labour centers are affiliated to wake up. We call on NLC and TUC to which our union is directly affiliated and co-owners of the Labour Party to rise to the occasion.
“We are happy that the Labour Party has taken a center stage in the nation’s politics this time around with a very wonderful and viable candidate, Mr Peter Obi.
“There’s no gainsaying the fact that almost every Nigerian has accepted that Obi is the most qualified candidate among all the presidential candidates.
“We have the opportunity to do it right in Nigeria now. Arising from our meeting, we are appalled, we are not happy, we are not satisfied at the level of input coming from the national bodies of the labour centers.
“The zone is not impressed at the level of support or declaration so far from the NLC and TUC. It’s not enough to say we are owners of the LP. That should be expressed by action, especially now that we have the best candidate that has emerged from labour, ” he said.
The union zonal leader explained that it was the expectation of the members that labour centers should come out fully to endorse their candidate and make sure they directed all the affiliates, all the State councils of the NLC and TUC to do it in line with the party the unions have identified with which is their own LP.
He described as an anathama to see NLC and TUC members in some States declaring interest and endorsing candidates in other political parties other than their own LP. He wondered why that should go on without sanctions.
Nwoye noted that it was expected by now the unions should have had a directive from the labour leadership for all the affiliate centers on which direction to go in the forth-coming election.
“They should come out fully and not to play hide and seek game. After all, they went to court to reclaim the Labour Party. They won the case. If they are not ready to work fully with the party, why are they claiming the ownership?
“What is being done now is to save Nigeria. Every right-thinking Nigerian, every reasonable Nigerian, apart from those who cannot control their selfishness or personal aggrandizement knows that Obi is the right candidate.
” We should not be afraid to direct our members to do the needful to ensure that LP takes over the leadership and administration of this country through the ballots. We should go all out to salvage this country that is about to submerge.
“We have been talking about corruption and insecurity over and over again and the situation has become worse in the hands of the present administration.
“How can we be talking about a party (apparently referring to APC) that has watched petroleum pump price to rise from N120 to over N300; under the watch of this governement exchange rate has risen from N190 per dollar to N700 and above per dollar. How many families can afford the price of kerosene now not to talk of domestic cooking gas? What about the prices of food items? Nigerian workers have been at the receiving end.
” We are calling on NLC and TUC to come out in full force so that we can change the narrative. They should come out and declare their support for our own candidate under our own party platform.
“People who are not supposed to be in labour leadership are now in charge. It appears we have more politicians in labour leadership than human rights activists who fight for the welfare of others.
“I don’t want to say that politicians may have bought over the labour leaders, but the actions, the directives, the body language, inactions and silence on the part of the echelon of labour leaders suggest the fear, ” he said.
He declared that the candidate of the LP has a track record of workers friendly relationship.
Nwoye noted that Mr Obi was the only candidate that never owed workers salaries and pensioners as a Governor of Anambra State.
“He never encouraged corruption. Funds meant for the development of the workforce in Anambra State were religiously utilized for the purpose. He developed all the sectors of the economy and they were touched at different degrees and different levels as the State Governor. He is the best manager of human and material resources we have ever had in the history of the State he governed for eight years.
“So, why shouldn’t we give him the opportunity to change the narrative of this country, ” he queried.
He insisted that candidates of the other political parties, who he said had clouded antecedents, could never take care of the workforce and other Nigerians like Mr Peter Obi.