By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Shouts of Incoming! Incoming! rented the air as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo rounded off his Workers’ Day speech on Sunday at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
Osinbajo, who was the Special Guest of Honour, addressed thousands of Nigerian workers who joined their counterparts worldwide in celebrating the International Workers’ Day on May 1.
The theme of the event is: “Labour, Politics and the Quest for Good Governance”.
As the vice president rounded off his speech, a section of the crowd cheered and sang, “incoming! Incoming! You go win! You don win! Unbeatable! No shaking! No shaking! You are our next president!”
Osinbajo had earlier in his speech said that May 1, was a day laden with historical significance and the importance.
He said that importance of the occasion was further underscored by the fact that it was the last May Day celebration before a national election.
“In commemorating this event, there is much to reflect upon and the theme you have chosen for this occasion invites us to ponder on “labour, politics and the quest for good governance and development.
“Given the season that we are in, this is entirely appropriate.
“The question that the theme calls for is what sort of politics can best deliver good governance and development?
“In addressing this question, let me begin by stating unequivocally that the labour movement belongs firmly to the progressive political persuasion.”
He said that the labour movement belonged firmly to the progressive political persuasion.
Osinbajo said that the question of what sort of politics could deliver good governance and development was decisively answered by progressive politics.
“As a progressive, I believe that good governance and development mean compulsory free education for the unlettered, universal healthcare coverage, inclusion for the alienated, social mobility for the poor, justice for the wronged and social security for the vulnerable.
“The progressive vision of Nigeria is of a nation in which the relations between the government and the governed is defined by a social covenant.
“It is of a society in which no Nigerian is left behind.
“It is of a canopy of inclusive and broad-based prosperity in which the security and the welfare of each citizen is guaranteed,” he said.
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba and Trade Union Congress, Quadri Olaleye, presented a joint address at the event.
The duo said that the quest for good governance and sustainable national development could not be attained without decent work.
According to the labour leaders, decent work deficits are manifest in insufficient employment opportunities, low wages, poor social protection cover, denial of rights and weakness in social dialogue.
“The significance of decent work to development is underscored by its inclusion as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals(SDG 8) which talks about the promotion of sustainable and inclusive growth and attainment of full productive employment and decent work for all,’’ they said.
The union leaders said it was time for workers to answer the generational call of national emancipation that would usher in the actualisation of the Nigeria of their dreams. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)