As Nigerians continue to yearn for good leaders to save the country from collapse, members of organised labour, at the weekend, called for more participation of Nigerian workers in politics.
Extolling the virtues of Honourable Aminu Suleiman Goro at a retreat held in Lagos on Friday, president of the National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), Lateef Idowu Oyelekan, and his counterpart in the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), John Adaji, said Goro has been a good representative of Nigerian workers at the National Assembly.
Oyelekan, who is also vice-president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), described the lawmaker from Kano as one of the best political leaders in Nigeria, as he has proved himself through innumerable works.
“I still believe that there is hope in Nigeria. God has really blessed our country with so many mineral resources, but the problem is to find good leaders to harness these resources,” Oyelekan said. “Aminu has really proved himself, he has empowered so many people in his constituency through many programmes. We’ve gotten the news of his so many exploits and we are not surprised because he is a labour man, whereas so many people up there do not want to identify with the masses.
“If we have identified people doing well, we have to support such to lead and it won’t be out of place for us to recommend him for governorship or even President because it is a call to serve and we know that he will deliver.”
The NLC vice-president said labour could only succeed in providing good leadership for the country by workers’ full participation in politics and supporting those already identified among them.
“If we identify anybody, we should all put hands together to push him up. The question should not be how much wealth you have acquired, but how many lives touched,” he said.
Adaji, whose union produced Aminu Suleiman, said the lawmaker has been a good representative. He assured the people of Kano that they would never be disappointed in giving him the opportunity to lead.
“What he is doing is unprecedented. We in the textile union are happy that Aminu has touched so many lives and created jobs for thousands since he got into the National Assembly.
“We believe that God still has greater responsibility for him and all of us in his primary constituency, which is labour, should rally round him so that he will succeed,” he said.
In his response, Suleiman Goro, who is serving his third term in the House of Representatives, noted that some people have misconceptions that activism is for mediocres, but such misconceptions have since been proved untrue as members of the organised labour movement in politics have been able to contribute positively to national development.
He said, if given the opportunity to govern Kano in 2023, it would only be a further call to serve in higher dispensation.
He said, “I’m proud to identify labour as my constituency. My union has been very supportive. In politics, we serve people, in labour we serve workers. It is the extension of service, that’s why in 2011 after our inauguration I was the first to move a motion.
“If I leave politics today, I have done what in 10 decades people will not forget. I’ve removed graduates from the streets, 1,800 graduates and sub-degree holders out of idleness; improved secondary schools in my constituency; built two new secondary schools, a model college, with another one for girl-child; built hospital, tarred roads, provided street lights powered by solar; and empowered over 5,000 women through vocational trainings after which we gave them tools for their trades.”
The lawmaker, charging other workers to enter politics, said the driving force for him was the fact that the system could not be changed from outside, but from within, adding that Nigerians must all participate in politics to touch the lives of the downtrodden.