The visit of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, to the Labour House last Tuesday has been described as a major shift in Nigeria’s political landscape.
According to the national secretary, Peter Obi Volunteers Electioneering Team (POVET), Echezona Asuzu, the coming of Peter Obi to Labour House established the fact that the Obi’s presidential candidature was a pan-Nigerian project.
“Coming of Mr. Peter Obi to the Labour House signifies the understanding that it is the Nigerian workers, the youth and the long-oppressed people of Nigeria that will make all the difference in the 2023 general election,” he said.
He noted that the intent was already manifest in the recent unprecedented surge by millions of Nigerians all over the country to get their permanent voter’s card (PVC).
He said the ongoing PVC revolution signalled that the ballot pendulum would swing ‘OBIdiently’ to usher in a new Nigeria of the people’s dreams.
He said, “Our commitment in POVET is to add value to the collective aspiration of the new Nigeria of our dreams by mobilizing at least one million volunteers who would canvass at the grassroots in every nook and cranny of Nigeria for the election of Mr. Peter Obi as the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 29th May, 2023.
“We, therefore, call on all Nigerians to endeavor to register for their PVCs, collect their PVCs, safeguard their PVCs and use their PVCs very ‘OBIdiently’ on election day!”
The POVET scribe reasoned that this is equally the first time that organised labour in Nigeria is throwing its weight behind a presidential candidate in the run-up to a general election in Nigeria. He said the resolve by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to support Peter Obi’s candidature is in tandem with the long-term drive by Nigeria’s labour movement to be more visible in the political space in Nigeria.
“Given the chronic failure of successive governments in Nigeria to meet basic governance aspirations of citizens especially since the restoration of democratic rule in 1999, Nigerian workers have decided to move from street activism to electoral activism as a way of actualizing many of the industrial, economic and social demands they have been making on government,” he said.
Asuzu said Organized Labour being the most prominent and enduring pan Nigerian organization remains the most consistent emblem of national unity, solidarity and development, hence this makes the statement that Mr. Peter Obi is a symbol of national unity, solidarity and development.
He stated, “When Peter Obi talks about moving the country from Sharing to Production formula, he is talking about one of the things that unify us – DECENT JOBS. When Peter Obi asks Nigerians to identify with the Social Democracy ideology of the Labour Party, it is about the critical foundations that unite every Nigerian – effective investment in public schools; public healthcare; and social protection for all. When Peter Obi talks about upgrading our physical infrastructure, he is talking about electricity, roads, waterways and railways that we all use. Nigerians understand that any other form of “national unity” is an agenda in deceit, divide-and-rule and plundering the commonwealth.”
He added that Obi’s visit to the Labour House likewise resonates with the desire by most Nigerians for a New Nigeria where there is law and order, where every Nigerian feels secure, where there are equal opportunities for all and where life is in abundance.
This dream Nigeria, POVET Secretary stressed has been the pursuit of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the reason the NLC has for decades been in the forefront of the struggle against incessant increase in petrol price, insecurity, electoral brigandage, economic deprivation, slave wages, hunger, and oppressive industrial cum social policies.
“The partnership between Mr. Peter Obi and labour especially as midwifed under the illustrious leadership of Comrade Ayuba Wabba, his TUC counterpart and the current national leadership of the Labour Party led by Barr. Julius Abure represents a very strong statement in the collective desire to reclaim Nigeria and recover her destiny as the lighthouse of the black race,” he stated.