…says no regrets for supporting him
By Kayode Sanni-Arewa
The president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero has denied speculations that the union is pushing for a strike because of its political affiliation to the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
He added that the NLC's demand following the removal of fuel subsidy by the administration of President Bola Tinubu does not have any political undertone.
Speaking on Tuesday during an interview with TVC, Ajaero added that labour leaders had always been involved in politics and there is no law against such, adding that the current Labour Party was formed by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
On the relationship between the Labour Party and the union, Ajaero submitted that the NLC owes no one any apology for supporting Peter Obi in the 2023 elections, adding that unlike what is obtainable in other political parties in Nigeria, the Labour Party has provided a platform for the common man to actualize political ambitions.
The NLC president while answering a question on why the congress seems to be more pushy than the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in demanding for a strike, clarified that the push for strike action is not borne out of a political bias against the government in power.
He said: “You wanted the NLC to be apolitical? because the NLC from day one has been forming political parties. From around 1918, there was a political party. In 1945. Michael Imodu and others formed a political party. In the 1960s, Imodu and Ekong formed another political party which was disrupted by the civil war. In 87, Pascal Abafia and others formed a political party.
“The current Labour Party you are seeing was formed by Adams Oshiomhole in 2003 and it has been on till we met it. We don't have any apology for having a political party because the two existing political parties can not accommodate us.
“Tell the people that are saying this of our affiliation; it is only in Labour Party that the son of a mechanic or a mechanic can run for election and I want to challenge you to prove that even the current National Assembly people who are okada riders through the Labour Party are there and it is a forum for us.
“So if anybody is talking of political affiliation, we don't have any sympathy for it. All over the world, we have Labour Party.”
He concluded by saying the NLC is not running the Labour Party.