All roads led to Ilorin, the capital of kwara state, on Monday as labour movement across Nigeria, led by the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Waba, converged at African People’s Hall at the Mustapha Akanbi Foundation (MAF) for the official Flagg off campaign ceremony of the labour party.
It was a sea of heads as the hall was filled to the brim when senior members, supporters and lovers of labour party across Nigeria registered their presence on the well attended occasion.
The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Waba while addressing the mammoth crowd at the event, said the Labour Party Governorship candidate in kwara state, Comrade Issa Aremu, is a quintessential labour leader who has all it takes to provide Kwarans with quality leadership if elected as governor of kwara state during the forthcoming general elections.
Waba who eulogised the labour party gubernatorial candidate in the state, said Issa Aremu has served Nigeria in various capacities, as a labour leader, for over three decades.
The Nigeria number one labour leader was confident that Aremu is intellectually and philosophically fit to lead kwara to a promised land.
” He has all it takes to provide quality leadership. He is intellectually very excellent, he has ideological clarity about what a good system should be. Philosophically, is align with social justice for all.
” I’m privileged to see his agenda. His center point is the people that is why we are excellently happy to shaving him around offering himself for service.
“In him we see another Adams, when governors said the cannot pay minimum wage, you can see that Adams paid N25,000 in the midst of recession before he left office.
“We need people that understand governance, people that can be able to make the difference and in Issa Aremu we are confident that he is a good hand for the job” he added.
Waba added that labour party is the only party that cares about welfare of masses, adding that it is the party for downtrodden, working class, and to those that are being deprived of quality life in Nigeria.
Speaking on lingering new minimum wage, the NLC boss said industrial peace can not be guaranteed if the New National Minimum Wage Bill is not transmitted to the National Assembly.
The NLC President noted that the Bill is about law which had been negotiated and enacted, saying that about three Ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the organized labour that the Bill would be transmitted to the National Assembly before the twenty fourth of this month.
Comrade Waba added that the organized labour expected the National Assembly to do the needful once the Bill is transmitted by ensuring its speedy passage.
In his address, the labour party Governorship candidate, Comrade Issa Aremu elucidated extensively on the 5-points agenda of his people which he alighted as People, Prosperity, Popular Participation, Partnership and Peace.
“Today I felt very sad for a state that used to be one of the leading state in terms of industrial development, employment, peace and harmony in 70s 80s. Thanks to good governance by the state founding fathers”
“Unfortunately today, kwara ranks 28th on the list of states by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) behind relatively newest states like , Imo, Edo, and Osun states. It is tragic that there are more children out of schools in Kwara State than Edo and Osun state because of income poverty of parents, charges and extortions in public schools despite official policy of free primary and secondary education and abysmal low public budgets for education”
“Kwarans have been turned to working beggars with the way workers salaries are being treated as belated charity than prompt legitimate earnings for work done. The mass poverty of our people known for resourcefulness is due to the greed of the few ruling elite in the past two decades. Labour Party is committed not only to minimum wages but living wages for pensioners and aged”
“I want to appeal to my fellow contestants that this election is about people, we can disagree but not disagreeable, we can disagree on issues but we should not take it to the level of violence we witnesses in the state in the last one week.
“We should know that we are already poor without fighting each other and destroying properties. what should be our focus is how to alleviate poverty that is slowing our development down as a citizen and state. How can a poor community, people be destroying cars in the name of election? Labour Party is not part of this, because we are coming from Organised Labour setting. Kwara is for all of us to make a difference” he added.
Earlier in his welcome address, the state Chairman of labour party, Comrade Abdulkareem Onagun said labour party is a party to beat in the state considering the strength of its membership that cut across public, private and even artisans in the country.
Onagun who thanked the entire labour movement from across Nigeria for the show of solidarity, was confident that Labour party will emerge victoriously during the next election.