The labor union Socialist Labour has warned Nigerian workers not to support Bola Tinubu, the APC’s presidential candidate.
Tinubu recently had a meeting with the leadership of the labor union in Abuja.
The town hall meeting was held at the Chida Hotel in the Federal Capital Territory, and it was well-attended by labor leaders from the Nigerian Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress, and other organizations.
The APC candidate was also given with the demands of the organized labor leadership, which included a complete fight on corruption.
In a statement issued in response to the incident, Socialist Labour’s National Secretary, Biodun Olamosu, claimed that Tinubu had never been a worker’s friend.
The labor union stated that the APC candidate fired over 10,000 employees due to minimum wage demonstrations while serving as governor of Lagos State.
“The recent meeting of Bola Tinubu with the presidents of the NLC and TUC supports the false perception that Tinubu is a friend of workers and their trade unions,” the statement said.
“Tinubu has repeatedly opposed labor unions and workers throughout his existence. The beginnings of his commercial empire also point to his tremendous corruption. Tinubu’s recent declaration that he will end fuel subsidies regardless of the objections of common people reveals his attitude toward them. Within two months of becoming governor of Lagos State in May 1999, Tinubu fired thousands of public sector employees in the name of “rationalization.” This was one of his first actions.
“Tinubu fired about 10,000 workers in 2001/2002 because to protests against the minimum wage. The federal government raised the minimum wage for both the federal government and the states that produce oil to N7,500. Trade unions in Lagos State asked to be paid at this higher rate because the state had more than enough local revenue. Daily rallies were used to organize a strike.
Adams Oshiomole, the NLC president, traveled to Lagos to try to resolve the conflict. Throughout the negotiations, Oshiomole pushed for the workers to resume their jobs. Bola Tinubu fired the strike’s organizers instead of paying the amount that was being requested.
The majority of the employees finally got their jobs back, but their late leader Ayodele Akele never did. He had served as the Congress of Industrial Unions’ president and the state leader of the AUPCTRE trade union (COIU). Additionally, Tinubu significantly raised the cost of tuition at the Polytechnic and Lagos State University.
“In 2015, 300 of the 375 employees of Tinubu’s consultancy, Alpha Beta, were fired for expressing interest in joining the Association of Senior Staff of Bank and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI). Two years later, in June 2017, 145 employees of TVC, Tinubu’s television network, were laid off. After the slaughter of the #EndSARS demonstrators in October 2020 at the Lekki Toll Gates, it is not a coincidence that the offices of TVC and Tinubu’s newspaper, The Nation, were attacked and set on fire.
In exchange for a commission, Alpha Beta Consulting Ltd has had the sole authority to collect internally produced income, particularly the Land Use Charges in Lagos State, for the past 20 years. There are claims that this may reach 15%. However, much more money could have been stolen because it is very difficult to account for any money until it has been deposited into a bank account belonging to the Lagos State Government. Alpha Beta Consultancy is well-known among Lagosians as the state’s foremost tax consulting firm, despite rumors that it is being used as a conduit for diverting state monies into personal accounts, according to Premium Times in 2008.
“In 2018, Oladapo Apara (the former managing director of ABC) petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), charging Alpha Beta of failing to pay his termination compensation and defrauding the government of N100 billion in taxes. He also filed a lawsuit, saying that Tinubu was hiding his ownership of the consulting firm. In September 2022, this lawsuit was finally resolved outside of court.
“Like many business owners, Tinubu has trampled on the rights of employees. Additionally, he is accused of stealing money from the Lagos State Government both while he served as governor and later to fund his business empire and the APC.
For workers and their trade unions, the possibility of this corrupt despot becoming president is terrifying. Giving Tinubu a copy of the NLC’s Charter of Workers Demands at a cordial gathering with Oshiomole and other traitors won’t make him change his lifelong habits. Instead of making friends with the next president, whoever they may be, the NLC and the TUC should be getting ready to oppose them.