Spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, has asked the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on which platform Peter Obi was picked as the Presidential candidate to explain to Nigerians if it had abandoned its fight against the removal of fuel subsidy.
Peter Obi is the Presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party (LP).
In a statement today, September 17, Keyamo, who doubles as minister of State for Labour and Productivity in the current Federal Government, said that Peter Obi’s declaration to remove fuel subsidy if he is elected President in 2023, is coming against the backdrop pf position of the leadership of the organized labour under the aegis of the NLC, which fought successive governments to keep it alive.
He wondered if Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, discussed with the leadership of his party and the NLC to know their policies before making the statement to ‘excite his Obidient supporters.
The statement read: “We note that the leadership of the organized labour under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday, September 13, 2022, at a national retreat of the Labour Party in Abuja, promised to mobilise its members across the 774 local government areas in Nigeria, to ensure victory for Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, in next year’s presidential election.
“We also note that in several interviews he granted in the last few months and weeks, Obi has vowed to totally remove subsidy on petrol if elected President. We also note NLC’s long-standing opposition to total removal of fuel subsidy. Other left-leaning supporters of the Labour Party were also present at the event to cheer Obi.
“Consequently, the following questions are urgently begging for answers by the leadership of the NLC. Before adopting Obi as its candidate, did the leadership of the NLC have a discussion with him on the issue of removal of fuel subsidy? If they did have that discussion, did Obi agree to back down on the issue of subsidy removal? Was that a basis for supporting him? If he did not back down on the issue, did the organised labour agree with him?”
The Minister of State for Labour, Productivity and Employment, noted that it would be reckless of the NLC to adopt a candidate without thoroughly interrogating him on his policies as they affect the Nigerian workers or the masses if no subsidy removal discussion held.
This is even as he admonished the leadership of the NLC to come clean by making a public statement unless it has changed its earlier stance and now fully supports the removal of fuel subsidy.
“If the excuse is that Obi has said that the money saved will be used in other critical areas of the economy, how is that different from what the Buhari government is also saying?
“These questions have become necessary because Nigerians deserve to know whether organised labour’s adopted party, which is the Labour Party, supports and promotes a policy that the leadership of labour opposes in another breath, when it is adopted by the government of the day. They cannot be blowing hot and cold.
“As our Council stands for issue-based campaigns, we call on all members of the 4th Estate of the Realm not to sweep this point under the carpet and to thoroughly interrogate the NLC and the Labour Party on the one hand; and the seemingly right-leaning supporters of the Labour Party and Mr. Peter Obi on the other, on this issue so that they will come clean before Nigerians.”