Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State on Thursday frowned on the silence of the Organised Labour on the controversy surrounding the Nigeria Governors’ Forum election.
He particularly criticised the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress for not summoning the courage to tell Nigerians the truth about the NGF impasse.
The NGF has been in crisis following the leadership tussle between Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and his Plateau State counterpart, Jonah Jang.
Oshiomhole spoke at a conference organised by the TUC in Abuja on Thursday.
In the conference entitled ‘The Labour Movement in Nigeria: a centenary of unity, diversity and nation building’, the outgoing TUC President-General, Mr. Peter Esele, also called on the NGF leadership to put its house in order.
Oshiomhole said, “When the facts are so clear, comrade presidents of TUC and NLC, you cannot be quiet. You must take a position if you believe from all that you have heard and seen that Jang won, say so. And if you know that he did not win, tell him to stop janging.”
Oshiomhole, who urged the leadership of the union to always speak the truth, said there was condemnation for dishonesty.
He added, “These are the values of the truth that I learnt from the late labour leader, Comrade Hassan Summonu, who told me when I was growing up that whether you tell the truth, on the day you shall die, you cannot postpone it. If also you choose to live the life of a liar, you cannot live one minute longer than you have been destined to live. But the difference is that for those who speak the truth, there is a space in heaven and those, who live the life of a rogue, their place in hell is defined.”
Dramatising the NGF election, the governor said, “Thirty five people went into a poll and at the end, the votes were counted and Jang got 16 votes and Amaechi marshalled 19 votes. The winner emerged and the same people started saying ‘no, we are going to walk out’. I said how could you walk out. Even in madness, there are levels of madness.”
Esele said despite the anomalies in the conduct of the NGF election, the crisis surrounding it was needless and unnecessary.