By Bimbola Oyesola
The National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) has described the withdrawal of Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, from the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s Presidential race as selfless and patriotic decision.
The union, in a letter jointly signed by its president, Lateef Oyelekan, and general secretary, Mike Olanrewaju, to the minister last week, said the union received the cheery news of the Nigige’s uncommon patriotic decision to withdraw from his presidential ambition with great joy and deep sense of immeasurable satisfaction.
The union’s letter which was copied to the president/general secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Secretary to Federal Government of Nigeria and Head of Service of Federation commended Ngige for stepping down in order to ensure the education sector was not left in crisis.
The letter read, “Your Excellency, in sincerity, we have unreserved conviction that indeed you are eminently qualified and with deep-rooted experience both in governance and proficient economic management, which undoubtedly must have prepared you for the great work of providing fruitful and beneficial leadership as the President and Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of the Federation.
“However, the avalanche of industrial crises bedeviling the tertiary educational sector, which has remained intractable to resolve, thereby making it inevitably expedient for Your Excellency to reconsider your move towards the presidential candidate of your party.
Moreso, the fact that all public universities has remained closed for more than Four (4) months running ultimately give cause for concern and unbearable worry.”
The union noted that the Minister’s withdrawal showed that he listened to the passionate appeal from the union not to abdicate his responsibility at this critical period.
The letter read further, “Therefore, in consideration of the irreparable monumental dangers and destructive retrogression of educational pursuits of Nigerian Students, this prompted our Union’s earlier passionate appeal to your Excellency to reconsider your well deserved presidential ambition in other to fully concentrate and remain focused on the possibility of resolving the protracted strike embarked upon by all the Industrial Unions in tertiary educational Sector as the Meditator-ln-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Furthermore, it was our view that it will be tantamount to a Military General abandoning his troops in the War Front amidst a highly ravaging War.
“Consequently, your selfless and patriotic decision to put the interest of Nigerians masses and University Students in particular over and above your personal interest by opting out of the presidential primary of your political party even after paying a huge amount of money to obtain the Nomination Form is a welcome and soothing development.
“Your historic decision to concede to our appeal and the appeals of progress loving Nigerian is highly appreciated.
We pray that God in His Infinite power will adequately compensate and reward your Excellency for this uncommon display of love and passion for our dear Country,” the letter added.