Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC), told the organized labor group yesterday that none of the major presidential candidates could be trusted with power and leadership.
Tinubu said this at a town hall meeting held at the event center of the Chida Hotel in Utako by the Labour Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (APC-PCC).
The APC candidate said that he is the most qualified of the presidential candidates to lead Nigeria and that he is the only one who is really fighting for good governance.
The former governor of Lagos did not name the other presidential candidates by name, but his description fits both Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, who are running for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP), respectively.
In a statement signed by Tunde Rahman and released by Tinubu’s Media Office, he asked the labor unions to back him for president in 2023, saying that he has a history of good governance.
He said that as president of Nigeria, he would work to solve problems like unemployment, a lack of a credit system to help workers buy homes, poverty, problems in the education system, and a weak industrial base.
Tinubu said, “Today, you all need to ask yourselves: Who can be trusted to get all of this done?” The man who has done it before, or the man whose biggest accomplishment as Vice President was selling national assets to his friends and cronies through illegal means?
“Whose plan is better? Who is prouder: the man whose plans helped Lagos State become the fifth largest economy in Africa, or the man whose biggest accomplishment is how much money he was able to hide in the sand while his state’s infrastructure fell apart and its workers had to deal with constant hardship?
“It’s your choice. But let me tell you a little bit about myself and what I want to do.
“I’ve always been a progressive Democrat, and I always will be. In my view, it is the government’s most important job to work with both business and labor to make sure that everyone in our society gets their fair share of benefits without having to go through too much trouble.
He said, “As organized labor, you have been at the forefront of the workers’ rights movement in Nigeria, fighting for economic fairness and the welfare of the average person, the weak, and the forgotten.
“You were also a part of the fight for democracy and political rights. The democratic rights and economic ideas in our constitution came to life because of all of your work. I can talk about how you changed our country in a positive way because I was on the front lines of the social justice movement.
“I’m running for president right now, but that wasn’t always the case. Before I ran for president, I was running away from military dictators who were angry with me because I played a big part in protests against them and their attempts to stop our democratic hopes.
Tinubu said that his time in the National Democratic Coalition and Nigeria’s fight for democracy were the most important parts of his public life (NADECO).
He also said, “I have given my life to that cause. I was jailed and then sent away because I wouldn’t settle for anything less than a government based on the idea that the will of the people is supreme and should take precedence over force and force of arms.
“I think that everyone here today has the same ideas about how to run a good government that is progressive and democratic. I’ve spent my entire political career fighting for the rights and interests of everyday Nigerians, just like you. We have been on the same road for a long time. I hope we’ll keep being friends and brothers.”
Tinubu said that if he were elected, his government would make sure that the fiscal and monetary policies worked for workers and Nigerians so that they could live well. He also said that he would make sure the country got a lot more industrialized so that more people could get better-paying jobs and so that young people could take advantage of new industries.
Tinubu said he would work to build a closer relationship between the government and organized labor. He said that the government and organized labor would talk and work together on major policy issues.
Ayuba Wabba, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Festus Osifo, president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), as well as Adams Oshiomole, deputy director-general of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), were there.
The APC candidate 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.