By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the organised labor in Cross River State on Tuesday in Calabar endorsed the governor, Senator Ben Ayade to bid for a second term in office.
The state chairman of the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC), Comrade John Ushie disclosed this while delivering a traditionally lengthy speech at the Udoakaha Jacob Esuene stadium during an event to mark the 2018 International Worker’s Day in the state where he maintained that Mr. Ayade’s performance has been impressive.
“In view of what you have done so far in Cross River State since your assumption of office on May 29, 2015 in the area of socio-economic, political and manpower development as attested by many, and in view of your workers friendly posture, we the workers of Cross River State have viewed critically the options open to us and our future, and have agreed on this day to massively support your second term in office,” said Ushie.
He said only Mr. Ayade has the “capacity” to implement the new minimum wage been proposed without fail.
“Indeed, as a new minimum wage is being proposed, we know that only you can and have the capacity to pay us our salaries without fail. We therefore urge you to bid for a second term in office come 2019 general election,” Ushie said.
Mr. Ayade is said to be very passionate about salary payments and for two years in a row, paid May salaries in advance.
Also, the chapter chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) which forms the organised labor alongside the NLC, Comrade Clarkson Otu in his speech hailed the industrialisation drive of Mr. Ayade’s administration which he said has provided employment opportunities.
The governor had recently explained the reason why his administration prioritised industrialization.
The endorsement comes after a lull in similar activities which saw Mr. Ayade visit the three senatorial districts in the state in February and March.
And, despite denials that the events were apolitical, political watchers had said it was an affair of the People’s Democratic Party.
However, an emotional Ayade who stopped short of declaring his intention to run for governorship a second time, said the adoption was humbling and promised to continuously prioritise the welfare of the citizenry over every other consideration.
“I want to thank you all as workers of Cross River State for finding it necessary to honor me in a day of this nature.
This honor is a commitment, it is a challenge and responsibility on my part to do even more,” said Ayade.
He continued, “therefore, your choice of my adoption come 2019 is a clear testimonial that my philosophy, my focus on the stomach, that I must put food on the table, has worked.
“The only thing I owe society and God is to ensure that these people who have been standing under the sun, who have made the choice of reaffirming their commitment to me in 2019, that at the fullest of time, you will be happy you did.”
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