Former Nigeria Labour Congress chairman and serving governor of Edo state has blamed outgoing president of the union, Abduwahid Omar for the post-election crisis that has split the NLC.
While congratulating Ayuba Wabba, who was elected last week as the new president of the NLC, Oshiomhole, urged him to rebuild a cohesive labour force, and avoid “bread and butter” unionism of the previous administration.
His words: “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”.
Oshiomole added that many Nigerians, especially the working class, view the NLC as part of a system that oppresses them and not one that provides adequate checks on the government.
He said: “The Nigeria 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 working class people and the middle class citizens who are daily at the receiving end of an unjust social order.
For the NLC leadership to regain its influence, Mr. Oshiomhole said Mr. Wabba must see his unique role beyond mere “bread and butter.
“It is against this backdrop that your leadership must see its historic role beyond the ‘bread and butter’ issues, to re-assert its independence, re-connect with grassroots workers…”