Con­fab: Osh­iom­hole tasks labour del­e­gates on Nigeria’s unity

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Vin­cent Egun­yanga, Benin

Gover­nor Adams Osh­iom­hole of Edo State has urged rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the labour move­ment at the on­go­ing na­tional con­fer­ence to speak for Nigeria’s unity when those with parochial views cham­pion eth­nic agenda.

Speak­ing in Benin yes­ter­day while re­ceiv­ing lead­ers of the Na­tional Union of Civil En­gi­neer­ing Con­struc­tion, Fur­ni­ture and Wood­work Work­ers, Osh­iom­hole said: “The Nigeria Labour Congress must be on the side of the Nige­rian na­tion, it must cham­pion na­tional unity. It must never be apologetic on the po­si­tion it takes on the side of an in­di­vis­i­ble, one Nigeria.

“I know for a fact that when the po­lit­i­cal class as­sem­bles to share re­sources, there is no North, there is no South, there is no East there is no West. I also know for a fact that when the busi­ness class meets at board meet­ings of banks and big businesses and they want to share prof­its, they share it as if they are from the same womb. They are united by the fac­tor of greed.

“On the other hand, across the North and across the South, across the East and across the West, the or­di­nary per­son is united by poverty. People still strug­gle to have ac­cess to pipe borne wa­ter. People still strug­gle to get good ed­u­ca­tion for their chil­dren. The elite have cho­sen the es­cape route of send­ing their chil­dren to schools abroad. Those who can­not af­ford out­side Africa are push­ing their chil­dren to other African coun­tries and leav­ing the Nige­rian child un­der class­rooms with­out roofs or even schools with­out teach­ers and where there are teach­ers, they are of doubt­ful com­pe­tence.”

Osh­iom­hole ar­gued that the pos­si­bil­ity of up­ward mo­bil­ity for chil­dren of the poor is in­creas­ingly be­ing re­duced. He said: “The im­pli­ca­tion of the fu­ture is clear for the NLC, to or­ga­nized labour and the pro­gres­sive seg­ments of the civil so­ci­ety that the chil­dren from vil­lages who don’t have qual­i­fied teach­ers and there­fore can­not pass Math­e­mat­ics, English, Physics, Chem­istry means that chil­dren of the poor can never be­come med­i­cal doc­tors in this coun­try. They can never be­come civil en­gi­neers, they can never be­come elec­tri­cal en­gi­neers. Even in pol­i­tics, they might just be re­duced to thugs”.

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