The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Akwa Ibom Council, has said that the labour union and all workers in the state will only support governorship candidates that will agree to implement their demands as contained in a five-point charter.
The Chairman of NLC in the state, Comrade Sunny James, stated this in his address on Sunday during the 2022 Workers’ Day celebration in Uyo.
The 2022 International Workers’ Day was commemorated with the theme “Labour, Politics, and Quest for Good Governance and Development in Nigeria.”
James said the union would invite all governorship candidates to Labour House after their primaries to deliberate on issues that would bring good governance to Akwa Ibom people.
He said that the union’s congress has agreed that workers and their families would only support candidates that would improve the living wages and prioritise workers’ welfare come 2023.
He listed the items on the charter to include; living wage and prioritisation of workers’ welfare, education and healthcare; industrialisation of the state economy; physical security; social protection and good governance.
“A few days ago, as part of the activities to mark 2022 Workers’ Day, the organised labour in the state held a workers’ political conference with a major agenda of unveiling the Charter of Demands to the public as our expectations from the upcoming or would-be leaders in our state.
“The conference resolved to invite all flag bearers of political parties after the primaries to Labour House for adequate engagement on our charter, in order to deliberate and exchange their manifestoes and establish timelines on all items which will bring the needed good governance to our people.
“It was also agreed that only the candidates that honour our invitations and agree with workers to resolve issues as contained in our five-point charter, shall be supported together with our families during the elections of 2023. No longer shall workers sit on the fence,” James said.
He urged Gov. Udom Emmanuel to assent to all pending and sensitive bills that had been passed by the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, without further delay.
According to him, the bills include the Youths Development Fund Bill and the Bill Establishing Akwa Ibom State College of Science and Technology.
The union called on the state governor to liaise with relevant agencies and commence the full implementation of financial autonomy of the local government, judiciary, and the state legislature.
The governor in his remarks commended labour for their support and resilience to enhance the development of the state.
Emmanuel, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, said that without the collaboration of workers, the state government would not have achieved giant strides.
He said that the state government would continue to place issues concerning workers’ welfare as important for continuous harmony in the state.
“On behalf of the government, I commend Nigeria Labour Congress and workers for the industrial harmony in the state.
“The giant strides we have recorded would not have been possible without you,” Emmanuel said.
In his goodwill message, Sen. Ita Enang urged workers to support the candidate that would take workers’ welfare as a priority.
Enang urged Akwa Ibom workers to support his governorship ambition as someone who has the interest of the down-trodden at heart.
“I have come to tell you that the time of workers’ lamentation is over. I treasure the workers because they are the greatest resource of production,” Enang said.
In his goodwill message, Mr. Onofiok Luke, a member representing Etinan Federal Constituency in the National Assembly thanked the workers for their resilience in these trying times.
Luke called on workers to join hands with him to ensure victory come 2023 to build and grow Akwa Ibom state, stressing that he was the best for the workers.
The high point of the 2022 International Workers’ Day was the march past by different workers’ unions in the state. (NAN)