Atiku, Obi Can’t Be Trusted, Tinubu Tells Labour

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC),  yesterday, told the organised labour that none of the major presidential candidates could be trusted with power and leadership.

Tinubu stated this at a town hall meeting organised by the Labour Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (APC-PCC) at the event center of Chida Hotel, Utako.

The APC candidate said he is the most qualified of the presidential candidates to lead Nigeria, adding that he is the only one seriously involved in the fight for good governance.

The former Lagos governor did not directly mention the names of the other presidential hopefuls but the description he gave perfectly matches the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi.

In a statement by Tinubu’s Media Office, signed by Tunde Rahman, he urged the labour unions to support him in the 2023 presidential election, saying he has the track record of good governance.

He identified the problems of unemployment, lack of credit system to help workers own houses, poverty, challenges in the education sector, and weak industrial base as some of the things he was coming to address as president of Nigeria.

Tinubu stated, “Today, the questions you all must ask yourselves are these: who can be trusted to accomplish all of this? The man who has done it before, or the man whose most lasting achievement as Vice President is the corrupt sale of national assets to his friends and cronies?

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“Who has the better plan? The man whose blueprint guided the emergence of Lagos State as fifth largest economy in Africa or the man whose greatest pride is the amount of money he managed to bury in sand while his state’s infrastructure decayed and its workers suffered endless hardship?

“The choice is yours. But permit me to now talk a little about myself and my vision.

“I have always been and will continue to be a progressive democrat. In my worldview, government has a cardinal responsibility to work, not only with business, but also with labour to ensure that all constituent parts of our society are afforded their fair share of rewards without taking on undue hardship.”

According to him, “As organised labour, you have been at the forefront of the workers’ rights movement in Nigeria, championing economic fairness and the welfare of the average person, the weak and the forgotten.

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“You have also been involved in the struggle for democracy and political rights. Your collective efforts breathed life into the democratic rights and economic ideals enshrined in our constitution. I can speak fondly of your impact on our nation, because of my personal history on the frontlines of the social justice movement.

“I may be running for president now, but I was not always in this position. Long before I started running for the presidency, I was running away from military dictators angered by my important role in protests against them and their efforts to vanquish our democratic aspirations.”

Tinubu said the defining moment of his public life came during Nigeria’s struggle for democracy and his membership in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO).

He added, “I have dedicated my entire being to that cause. I was detained, then was forced into exile, because of my refusal to accept anything less than a government based on the proposition that the will of the people is sovereign and should reign over armed might and imposition.

“I believe that those assembled here today share the same ideals of progressive and democratic good governance. I have spent my political life advocating for the rights and interests of ordinary Nigerians as you also do. We have long been fellow travellers on the same road.  I hope that we shall continue as friends and brothers.”

Tinubu, on his plans if elected,  said his administration would make the fiscal and monetary policies work for the workers and Nigerians so they could have a good life. He added that he would ensure the country was massively industrialised to give more people better paying jobs, while also opening doors to more emerging sectors that the younger ones could harness.

Tinubu promised to foster a closer partnership with the organised labour, where dialogue on major policy issues and cooperation would become the order of the day.

In attendance were Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president, Ayuba Wabba; his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Festus Osifo; Deputy Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Adams Oshiomole amongst others.

The APC standard bearer was accompanied by his running mate Kashim Shetimma, members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Governors of Kebbi, Jigawa and Kwara states, members of the PCC and party chieftains.