By Ted Johnbull
Our attention has been drawn to a story published in some online platforms, which quoted the chairperson of Nigeria Labour Congresses, NLC Rivers Sstate, Beatrice Itubo, as saying that the NLC will not support the presidential ambition of Governor Nyesom Wike, due to his treatment of civil servants in Rivers State.
It is quite interesting to note that since Governor Nyesom Wike declared his intention to run for the Presidency of Nigeria; a decision which has been greeted with national applause and wide spread endorsement across board, it is only in Rivers State that the naysayers, the traitors and enemies of Rivers progress, especially in the All Progressives Congress, APC have been shamelessly denouncing the decision.
We are therefore not particularly surprised that the leadership of NLC in Rivers State, has also joined it’s voice in speaking ill against the declaration, since it is even common knowledge that the River NLC Chairman, Beatrice Itubo, is a confirmed card carrying member of the All Progressives Congress.
It is rather unfortunate that at a time when collective Labour, including the Rivers State chapter, should be agitating strongly against the surreptitious, astronomical hike in fuel price across the country, Comrade Itubo is rather concerned with running Governor Nyesom Wike down over the Presidential declaration of the Governor, which will be a major achievement for Rivers State and which all well meaning and patriotic Rivers people should really around and support wholeheartedly.
We want to state categorically that the Rivers State Government, from available records, has continued to steadily address the bottlenecks in the contributory pension scheme reforms, which was caused by the neglect and cluelessness of the previous administration, and this has ensured that the number of those on the pension queue has been considerably reduced. It is an ongoing process and the results are there for all to see.
Again, we must state clearly here that Rivers State is only one of the few states in the country, which has regularly, promptly and consistently paid workers salaries as at when due, at a time when many states are owing workers salaries for months, on the excuse of the devastation of COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Nyesom Wike, in the last seven years of his administration, has equally enjoyed a robust relationship with the Labour Unions in the state, building a Labour House for the Nigeria Labor Congress, NLC and inaugurating the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Secretariat Building, which was built by the Rivers State Government and very soon, the 5, 000 jobs promised by the administration for Rivers Youths will come to fruition.
The truth of the matter remains that the comments and sentiments of Comrade Beatrice Itubo has little or no impact or influence on who emerges the Presidential flag bearer of the PDP or even the APC where they are hoping and praying and fasting day and night, that what is already an impossibility will magically come to pass and their mentor and leader, will recognized.
And as long as she remains the chairman of Rivers NLC and a card carrying member of the APC, Rivers workers and organized labour in the state, will continue to suffer under the kind of suffocating, backward and confrontational leadership which the APC-led Federal Government has inflicted and imposed on Nigerians.
Ted Johnbull is the Public Relations Officer of Rivers Youths Front