By Joan Nwagwu
Mr Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC) has called for a united Labour movement that would confront the challenges bedeviling workers welfare in the country.
Oshiomhole said this at a programme in honour of the new President of the International Trade Union of Confederation (ITUC), Mr Ayuba Wabba, on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Dec. 5, Wabba, who is the President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), was elected President of ITUC in Copenhagen, Denmark for a term of four years.
ITUC is the largest trade union federation in the world and represents 207 million workers across the globe with 331 labour centres in 163 countries.
Oshiomhole said that the unity had become necessary as there were a lot of distractions to divide the labour movement in the country.
He said: ”I congratulate Comrade Wabba. But this must force us to do serious reflections if we are going to preside over the workers of the world.
“What do we do to deal with the distractions at home when we still have some of our brothers and comrades who still think that at this time, we can make sense out of a divided labour movement.
“The slogan that united we stand, divided we fall will always be valid; I hope that the spirit of your election will touch the heart of those who seems to be confused.
“There can be no question that united we stand, divided we fall.
“There is only one organised Labour and I am happy that President Muhammadu Buhari, speaking through the lips of the Vice President has reassured Nigeria Labour Movement that his government will not provide a platform for anyone to factionalism Organised Labour.
“You are not under the kind of threat that we faced when I was President of NLC when the former President sent a law to the National Assembly, not only to deregister the NLC, but also to make it possible for any three or four unions to form a Labour Centre,” he said.
He said that Buhari believed that the country needed more national institutions and that organised Labour was a potent unity bridge that must be sustained.
He added that under this government, there would not be another registered Labour Centre in the country.
“We need to be fired by the spirit of our people to work together and deal with all the issues that are bedeviling our country,” he said.
He therefore, charged the new president of the ITUC to confront the new challenges as it concerns trade unions around the world.
Also speaking, Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) said the Presidency was delighted about the international recognition.
“I want to congratulate Comrade Ayuba and assure you that as a government, we will give you all the support that you desire to succeed, because we believe that from this elevation, you have become ambassador of Nigeria to the international arena.
“They will watch you as they will watch the President of Nigeria because by extension, every decision you take there within the context of the fact that you are first a Nigerian before leading the world.
“I plead with you that in your representation, let the spirit of excellence with which you have led in this country be reflected in your leadership so that for once, it will be adjudged by the entire world that Nigerians are competent, efficient, and effective when it comes to the provision of leadership.
Mustapha, however, said that Nigeria would continue to give effective leadership to the different organisations to which Nigerians have been appointed.