Members of the Organised Labour in Anambra State, comprising of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the rest of the workforce of the government of Anambra State, have unanimously endorsed the second term bid of the governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano.
The workers, who gathered in their thousands at the Alex Ekwueme Square, in Awka to mark the Workers’ Day celebration, hinged their endorsement of Governor Obiano purely on the hard facts of his sterling achievements in the past three years of his regime. Listing Governor Obiano’s achievements that swayed them into endorsing him, the Anambra State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Jerry Nnubia, explained: “Anambra is currently the safest state in Nigeria. We are equally witnessing infrastructure revolution in the state, excellent records in the education sector, diversification of the state economy through mechanised agriculture, attraction of direct and indirect foreign investments with billions of dollars to the state among other achievements.”
Comrade Nnubia further lauded the governor for having the best interest of the workers at heart always. According to him, “our labour-friendly governor has also shown a lot of goodwill and favourable disposition towards the welfare of workers. Since the inception of his administration, salaries, pensions and leave allowances are regularly paid as at when due. This has earned him the nickname, ‘the Alert Governor’ because workers receive the alert for their salaries on or before the end of every month.”
The labour leader also praised Governor Obiano for his yearly Christmas largess of a bag of rice to every worker in the state and further observed that the provision of shuttle buses by the governor that ply strategic routes at a highly subsidised fare has helped in reducing the transportation problem of many workers.
“In appreciation of all the goodwill His Excellency has shown to the workers so far and in the expectation of the more he will do for them, the leadership of Organised Labour and the entire workers have decided to bestow him an award, as the ‘Best Labour Friendly Governor’ of Anambra State,” Comrade Nnubia declared. He further maintained that no other governor since the creation of Anambra State had treated the state’s labour force with as much care, respect and dignity, as Governor Obiano and called on his fellow workers to stand behind the governor in his second term bid, as it was the only guarantee that the progress recorded so far by the Organised Labour would not be torpedoed.
Performing a spontaneous voice vote in the large venue to ascertain the acceptance of Obiano’s second term bid by his colleagues, Comrade Nnubia asked those in support to say “Aye” and the entire gathering resounded with a thunderous “Aye” while no one in the audience responded to his call for “Nay.”
Responding to the overwhelming endorsement from the workers and accepting the honour bestowed on him, Governor Obiano lauded the resilience of the Anambra worker in the midst of the perverse recession in the country.
“I salute your resilience in the midst of a contracting economy. I admire your belief in the brightness of our dream, as a people of uncommon courage. I assure you that your faith in my administration is not misplaced. I assure you that we are building a new state that we can all be proud of,” Governor Obiano declared, pointing out that his administration was determined to expand the frontiers of excellence in Anambra State.
Striving to shore up the people’s self-confidence that has been badly damaged by the current recession, Governor Obiano declared: “Ndi Anambra, I have always said that our dream is far too bright to be eclipsed by the dark clouds of economic recession. I have always believed that we know the true worth of a people when they are pushed against the wall. That is why in the midst of a pervasive economic slump, my administration had decided to respond with a comprehensive Economic Stimulus Package, which has been largely praised as revolutionary and humane. That is also why in spite of the gloom and doom of recession, my team and I decided to raise the bar in our approach to the welfare of the workers of Anambra State.”
The governor, therefore, announced that his administration had concluded plans to ensure that 100 civil servants in the state, including some members of the Organised Labour, would become owners of the first 100 units of housing that are under construction at the Civil Servants Estate in Isiagu, Awka South Local Government Area of the state.
“Yes. You heard me right. One hundred people among you will be proud owners of their own homes before November this year. That is my Special Workers’ Day gift to you. The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria has approved the necessary funds and I assure you that this is one promise that is as good as kept already. My administration has already earmarked a total of 100 hectares of land in Isiagu for this estate. So, if you are not among the first set of beneficiaries, never mind. Your name might be in the next phase,” he assured.
Governor Obiano also used the opportunity of the Labour Day ceremony to bring the workers up to date on the efforts of his administration to attract quality investments to the state.
According to him: “It is a thing of pride that while the rest of the country is reeling from the shocks of recession, our dear Anambra State has attracted a major foreign direct investment valued at over $2billion for the Anambra Airport City Project, which I flagged off at Umueri recently.”
Governor Obiano also announced that Agulu Lake Hotel Resort would be taken over by the Golden Tulip Group, a world famous hotel chain with its head offices in the Netherlands. “The hotel will be run in the finest traditions of world class hotels across the globe and it will help to bring the world to our doorsteps. Umu nnem, Willie is working! Shall we say it again, please?”