Former Governor of Edo state and current Senator representing Edo North District, Adams Oshiomhole has accused Labour Unions in the country of not prioritizing the interests of Nigerian workers embarking on a strike.
Addressing State House Correspondents after closed-door talks with Vice President Kashim Shettima at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, Oshiomhole said the Organised Labour is better off mobilising states to monitor the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with the Federal Government on October 2, 2023.
“I will publicly support an action against any government that thinks that we should lament away our hunger…unfortunately, this strike is not about those issues…we have to be careful not to mix our political opinion with our responsibilities because the issues confronting workers are so many that they should become the priority.
“The federal government had granted N35,000 Wage Award. And those discussions were supposed to be for and on behalf of not only the federal government but of all workers in Nigeria, including those employed local governments and state governments.
“Now, I would have wished that somebody in the NLC recognise that the hunger in the stomach of federal employees is not any worse than that of state or local government employees.
“If these are the issues on the table, even as a senator, I will publicly support action against any government that thinks that we should lament away our hunger…You have to be careful not to be seen as doing the bidding of a particular candidate or a political party.”
Oshiomhole, who is a former Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, advised Labour Unions in the country to mobilize their members in all 36 states to ensure that the FG fulfils its promises to ease the living conditions of Nigerians.
“Let me be clear. I do not support the brutalisation of any Nigerian…including the Labour Leader.
“But I’m saying, in terms of what you might call the hierarchy of needs and challenges that we face, I think that NLC should robustly engage all the state governors or governments who are not implementing the agreement that was midwife, courtesy of a national strike, not a federal government’s employees strike.
“So if you mobilise private sector workers, state employees, local government workers, and now there is an agreement on N35,000 across the board, I want to see NLC saying there will be no sleep in any state where this is not being implemented.”