(From Vanguard (Nigeria) - AAGM)
Byline: Victor Ahiuma Young
AFTER February 16, 2007, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole will cease to be the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) having successfully completed two terms of eight years with remarkable achievements and a legacy future Presidents of NLC would continue to envy for a long time to come. The distinguished labour leader and activist who is seeking to occupy the Edo State Government House where he vowed to set a standard and prove to Nigerians in general that good governance is possible in this part of the world if given the mandate by the people of Edo state spoke to Vanguard exclusively on a wide range of issues.
Despite your assurance that the incoming leadership of Congress will live up to expectation, many labour watchers and other concerned individuals and groups do not share this optimism. To many, there is a serious doubt whether your successor could sustain the tempo and the level your leadership has taken the NLC. How do you react to that?
I do not have any fear about the ability to sustain the tempo. Of course, the truth is that you are not going to have any two people who do things exactly the same way. But that this is more in terms of forms and styles or in terms of content or in terms of the essence. I believe that those coming in are going to sustain and even probably improve upon what we have been able to do. The thing you must bear in mind is that yes, a leader has a critical role to play, but even more critical is the role of the collective. The leadership is a collective and a lot of the people who would be coming in are the people whom we had worked with over the past eight years.
Together, we had debated issues, together we had strategised on issues, together we had gone to the streets, together we had meet government at various levels, together we had met employers on all sort of issues and argued out things. All I was doing is that I was first among equals. So, those coming in are not strangers. They know now that NLC cannot afford to be anything different from what it was. If anything, the Nigerian public expects NLC to do even more. It does not matter that we are simply a workers' organisation, we have actually become the voice not only of the voiceless, even the voice of business. Voice on the side of moderation, voice on the …