Former Chairman of the Labour Party (LP) between 2004 to 2014, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu has accused labour activists, of being too docile in matters of Nigerian politics.
He said gone were the days when workers would gather en mass and shout solidarity songs and expect to wrestle power from the political class, insisting that those in politics know how to manipulate Nigerian workers to get the needed votes.
Nwanyanwu who spoke as a special guest of honour at the Political Roundtable on Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria, organised by the Trade Union Congress TUC in Abuja on Thursday, noted that workers had no special powers or privileges other than their voter cards.
The former Labour party chairman, however, took a moment to challenge most of the participants on their readiness to take power in 2023.
Gone were the days when you will be shouting solidarity forever and you expect power to be thrown at you, go and register and arm yourselves with your Permanent Voters Card PVC.
Look politicians know how to brian wash workers in this country, it is high time you must take advantage of your numbers in the present political space,” he told the gathering.
The event which was well attended by stakeholders in the labour circle had as its theme: “The Role of Organised Labour in Promoting Participatory Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria: Perspectives on 2023 General Elections”.
The Trade Union Congress which is now under the leadership of Comrade Quadri Olaleye hinged the event on the existing belief that the lack of active participation of organised labour in Nigerian politics has generated a lot of debates amongst trade unionists, scholars, opinion leaders and other commentators.
TUC also strongly believes that organised labour has not successfully tapped into the opportunity provided in a liberal democracy that emphasises grassroots participation, negotiation of interests, and interactivity. More importantly, the dividing line between economics and governance is very indistinct and the rationality which propels the state’s constant interference in labour matters equally dictates the need for trade unions to take an active interest in politics”, the union said.
Last week, in a similar event organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress to attempt to set agenda for the next political dispensation in 2023, former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega had carpeted current leaders who are at the helm of affairs in Nigeria, saying most of them were myopic in their world view of ideal leadership.