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Labour Throws Weight Behind Sheriff Oborevwori’s Governorship Ambition




By Patrick Ochei


The Organised Labour under the aegis of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), Delta State Councils, have respectively thrown their weights behind the candidacy of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP Governorship hopeful, insisting that they had always worked cordially with and benefitted from PDP Governments and would have no other choice than to support the continuation of PDP Government in power.

This decision was reached when the candidate of PDP, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori had interactive session with the workers at the Labour House on Thursday, 2nd March, 2023, to seek their support for his MORE Agenda for Deltans.

In their separate speeches, the NLC Chairman and the TUC Chairman eulogized the personalities of the past PDP Governors, affirming that they were promise keepers, insisting also that they were convinced Oborevwori would do more in power as Governor.

According to Comrade Goodluck Ofobruku, State NLC Chairman, “The Labour movement in the State has been blessed with promise keeping Governors right from the administration of Chief James Ibori who supported greatly in the building of the Labour House. Also, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan came in and continued the good work from there.

“I will like to say that Governor Okowa was exceptional in fulfilling most, if not all of the demands of Labour before becoming Governor.

“When Okowa came in as Governor and then the revenue of the State had dropped to #2 billion monthly while the state’s wage bill was #8 billion, he made workers salaries a priority. In spite of promoting workers whose promotions were due as and when due, he went ahead to agree with Labour to calculate pensions with #18,000 minimum wage as against #7,500 that he met on ground.

“Going forward, out of the #78 billion arrears owed pensioners, he has offset about #70 billion. The issue of Local Government workers came up and people were saying all sorts of things because they don’t know the workings of the civil service. Let me tell you that, Okowa has supported Local Governments immensely to pay workers, including offsetting some pension arrears even when he was not their direct employer.

“I want to conclude by saying that Governor Okowa has given workers in the State the best environment to work and add value to the system, and that is the new Secretariat. No worker now has any reason to complain not to do their job well.

“The only thing that Okowa has not completed its process, is the housing scheme for workers, even though he has built a low cost one for junior workers, which is on the verge of being handed over. We will like Sheriff Oborevwori to look in this direction by making most workers landlords before completing his tenures.

“We will definitely support Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, because he is personally a good man. Majority of us here know him, and for the fact that he turned around the fortunes of workers in the State House of Assembly, is worthy of commendation. Our affiliate union Chairman of PASSAN can attest to what he did to stop the incessant strikes in that union. We believe he will do more for workers across the state”, Ofobruku submitted.

On his own position, the TUC Chairman, Comrade Martins Bolum said he had the authority and mandate of TUC members to adopt Sheriff Oborevwori as their Governorship Candidate of choice, adding that he is being considered an important instrument for the next level development of workers in the State.

Bolum eulogized Oborevwori for the quality laws he had passed as the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, which mostly had immensely benefitted workers in the State.

His words, “We want more from your wealth of experience and good nature leadership. As active participants in the electioneering process, I want to assure you that TUC is solidly behind you. We want a Governor we know and a Governor we can trust. We will more than ever before, intensify efforts towards telling our members and others the good news about Sheriff Oborevwori’s Governorship. Sir, Workers are Obidiently Sheriffied”, he stressed.

In his address to workers without paper, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori spoke passionately and convincingly of the things he would do for workers if he emerges Governor of Delta State.

While agreeing to bequeathing to workers houses of their own under a Low Cost Housing Scheme that will come as Public Private Partnership and Direct Government Intervention, he promised to appoint a vast Labour leader into his Interim Transition Committee to profile the myriads of workers’ demands for priority attention in his administration.

The Governorship hopeful answered all the questions of workers seamlessly while also taking time to tell the story of his life as a locally made leader who understands how to perform to get the results that are acceptable to all.

Further dazzling his audience, he said, “I am a local man, made locally as a boy. I have street credibility because of where I am coming from. Being street wise does not mean I am a tout; my street credibility is all about accessibility and ability to interact with all. They can’t beat my local flavour.

“My story is an interesting one. As at 1984, I already had my Ordinary National Diploma. I had been a Councillor and then the youngest host community Chairman in Osubi. I worked with SHELL and the footprints of our achievements with the Osubi airport are still there for everybody to see. I was trained in the art of negotiations.

“The records are there that I went to Edo State University, Ekpoma where I graduated with 2.1 before obtaining my M.Sc in Political Science from Delta State University, Abraka. Because I have been a local man, doing things at the local level, they believe I didn’t go to school. In all the court cases, God has continued to see me through.

“Let me tell you, an illiterate and uncertificated person cannot lead the Delta State House of Assembly where the likes of Hon. Reuben Izeze are key threats for almost six years. Have you heard of any impeachment notice? It takes a man with intellectual capacity and impeccable track record of conflict management to lead such a place and becoming the longest on the saddle as Speaker.

“I want to assure you that Governor Okowa has done so much to develop Delta, I will do MORE in my development agenda. I am prepared, I have my social contract with Deltans well and aptly documented. Let’s do this together and nobody will regret it. Vote for me as the right candidate with the capacity to do more for you and the entire Deltans”, Oborevwori appealed.

In a nutshell, his arrival to and departure from the Labour House was heralded with the ‘Solidarity Song’, indicating the commitment of workers to give him the needed support to become the next Governor of Delta State.

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