The African Action Congress (AAC) has asked the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to withdraw its support for the candidature of Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
The AAC said this in a statement on Tuesday, signed by Femi Adeyeye, its spokesperson.
In June, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) declared their support for Obi in the 2023 elections.
The declaration of support for Obi’s candidature by the labour unions has elicited mixed reactions.
Last Saturday, the APC presidential campaign council asked the NLC to state its position on the payment of petrol subsidy in the wake of its support for the candidature of Obi.
Earlier, Obi had said part of his plans, if he becomes president, would be to remove petrol subsidy.
Responding to the APC presidential campaign, the NLC said if Nigeria has functional refineries, the problems associated with payment of petrol subsidy will be addressed.
Recently, Obi, in an interview on CNN, said, if elected president he will encourage the private sector to build and operate refineries.
“Let me use the issue of oil as an example, there is no reason why our refineries can’t work. There is no reason why we should not encourage the private sector to build refineries and operate them,” the former Anambra governor had said.
“They are not rocket science, it can be done as quickly as possible. You can decide to remove fuel subsidy, use the resources to support critical areas of production from critical infrastructure to education and support investment in refineries, which will be done within a shortest possible time.”
‘HOW CAN LABOUR UNIONS BE SUPPORTING WORKERS’ ENEMIES?’
Reacting to Obi’s comments, the AAC accused the former Anambra governor of moving LP away from “pro-worker” ideology, and hijacking the party.
The party said Omoyele Sowore, its presidential candidate, is the “only pro-labour and pro-masses” candidate in the 2023 elections.
“It is more than clear to all now where Mr Peter Obi and the new Labour Party (LP) stands on the removal of fuel subsidies and the privatisation of the commanding heights of the economy,” the statement reads.
“Live on CNN on Saturday, Mr Peter Obi stated clearly that all subsidies should be removed and the private sector should start refining fuel.
“This is a contradiction to the NLC charter of demands and the Clcongress position since the January uprising against fuel subsidy removal in the year 2012.
“NLC and TUC must note that millions of Nigerians rose up against the Jonathan regime over fuel subsidy removal, with the fear of the hike in petrol and cost of living.
“As of today, the subsidy removal protests have been justified. With the Buhari government’s off-and-on removal of subsidies as well as payment of fake subsidies, petrol price has risen ridiculously to N250 today.
“Gasoline is N800, while Kerosene and diesel sell for the same N800. Airlines are beginning to pack their loads as business is being stiffened as Aviation Fuel now cost about N1000 per litre.
“We call on President Ayuba Wabba and Festus Osifo to withdraw their support for Peter Obi as he has only hijacked the Labour Party from it’s moving towards pro-workerist ideas.
“We also call on the NEC of NLC and TUC to rise and take a clear stand against this usurper of the sweat and blood of our heroes and matyrs as the labour movement.
“How can Labour centres be supporting an enemy of workers who oversaw 13 months of Doctors Strike, 2 years of workers strike and refused to pay 11 months pensions as Anambra governor?
“The same Peter Obi has commercialized the Labour Party to the extent that no incorruptible comrade can contest in the party as tickets are sold off in tens and hundreds of millions.
“Even known Labour activists who had secured the LP tickets before Obi came to hijack the party has been illegally stripped of their candidacies.
“AAC believes that the answer to the Subsidy issue is to make all the refineries working, while three more are built within three years.
“Our party believes that Nigeria has to refine locally and put the management system into the hands of workers themselves, not multi-nationals nor the so-called expatriates.
“This will naturally stop the waste in fuel subsidies while not allowing selling or any commercialization of the NNPC, NLNG and other collective ïnterests.
“Petrol price will automatically reduce drastically as we refine and export locally, instead of exporting crude oil with over 200 minerals while getting only fuel imported.
“Omoyele Sowore’s presidency will also stop immediately the flaring of gas; clean up Ogoni and other polluted waters in the Niger Delta and review the punitive Petroleum Industrial Act (PIA) which is gearing to take away the ownership of crude oil from Nigerians generally to only a few individuals!”
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