Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole yesterday called on labour leaders to help promote the call for better governance in the country. Mr Oshiomhole, who made this call in his message to Nigerian workers to mark the 2011 May Day celebration, he said Nigerian workers should stand to be counted in the struggle for the enthronement of true democracy at all levels in the country, saying that only leaders who are truly elected by the people will be accountable to the people, including the workers.
“I salute workers on the occasion of another May Day today; however workers should not keep quiet in the face of oppression by political actors,” he said.
“As a matter of fact, workers’ voices should be loudest in the call for the enthronement of true democracy, because when political leaders are truly elected, the interest of workers, the nation’s wealth creators, will be uppermost in their minds. Conversely, people who rig themselves into office will only cater for the interests of their political godfathers and other acolytes.” On the revenue allocation formula, Mr Oshiomhole, who was a former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said: “The revenue allocation formula gives so much money to Abuja and Abuja has far more money than it needs. For every one naira that accrues to the federation, Abuja collects 52 percent of it, then the states plus FCT plus the 774 local governments collect the remaining 46.4 percent.
“Workers should join the clamour for the change in this anomaly so as not to give some state governments an excuse on the payment of the new minimum wage.”
He also praised President Goodluck Jonathan for providing the political leadership needed for one man one vote to prevail in the just-concluded general elections in the country. Speaking at the 2011 Annual Dinner and Awards of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in Lagos last weekend, Mr Oshiomhole also gave kudos to the Nigerian Army for its neutral role in the elections and not allowing itself to be used as an appendage of the ruling party. He said the Army demonstrated its loyalty to the Nigerian nation and not to any individual or political party. “President Jonathan, unlike a former President who preached do-or-die politics, provided the enabling political environment, where the votes of the people counted and results were not determined by thugs and bullets,” he said. He said this accounted for the loss of the ruling party in states like Oyo and Ogun. He also gave special commendation to the Chief of Army Staff, O.A. Ihejirika for providing the leadership for the Army to defend democracy, saying, after all, there was a Chief of Army Staff in 2007 when the controversial general elections were held.