A don, Prof. Adenike Ogunshe, has called on union leaders to shun selfish interest in order to earn people’s confidence.
Ogunshe stated this in Ibadan on Wednesday during a one-Day symposium organised by the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB),Oyo State Chapter.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the topic of the symposium is “Only People’s Power can End Poverty in Nigeria.”
The don, who is Secretary of ASCAB in Oyo State, said that many people had lost confidence in the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) because of their selfish interest.
Ogunshe, formerly of Department of Microbiology, Kola Daisi University, Ibadan, called on the union leaders to have the interest of the people at heart by not using their positions to enrich themselves at the detriment of the masses.
Ogunshe said it was time for the union leaders to have a postmortem of their activities to earn people’s confidence, adding that the union was not where it was supposed to be.
“Nowadays, whenever the NLC, TUC declare strike, what the majority of people says is that the unions are broke and need to make money.
“The union leaders should not think of the money they get from the ruling class when agitating for the needs of the people, rather think of how to end the suffering of the masses by putting the government on their toes.
“In the past, we have union leaders that are up to the task.
“The union leaders are supposed to be the think-tank of the country and the wall that guide the government on how to go round and not for them to be running here and there when government has decided on critical issues like increase in fuel price and electricity tariff.
“Why should the NLC and TUC wait for the government to increase the fuel price and electricity tariff before taking action,” she said.
Ogunshe called on Nigerian workers to always elect credible people to run the affairs of the unions in order to always check the activities of the government and put them on their toes.
Also speaking, Prof. Kola Babarinde, of the Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, called on the union leaders to unite and work together to fight for the good of Nigerians.
Baharinde said that the union needed to come together and form alliance for them to challenge negative policies of the ruling class and be on the side of the people.
“Some people are in the labour movement to make money; so whenever they are called by the ruling class they just collect their money and move on.
“We must continue to review what we do and believe for us to make progress,” Babarinde said. (NAN)