by Victor Hanson
The 13th Nigeria Labour Congress Rain School was held at the Workers’ Solidarity Centre, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on August 3-7. The theme of the School was Labour Movement and the Politics of Change in Nigeria.
About 80 trade unionists from different unions and NLC state councils as well as union activists from Ghana and South Africa participated actively in one of the three course groups of the school: Leadership, Organisers and Gender.
There were also lively plenary sessions that brought all participants together to discuss on issues related to the theme of the school. The lead presentation at the first plenary session was made by Professor Abubakar Momoh, Director of the INEC Electoral Institute. He called for a return to the founding principles of the trade union movement.
Comrade Ayuba Wabba confirmed this necessity, informing the participants that this would be at the core of a Leadership Retreat of the NLC coming up later in the month. The need for the Labour Party to be re-built on the basis of a working class’ fighting programme was also stressed.
The lead presentation of the second Plenary Session was prepared by Professor Dung Pam Sha of the University of Jos and presented on his behalf by Comrade Baba Aye, Deputy Secretary General of the Medical and Health Workers’ Union. The paper interrogated the “change” mantra of the All Progressive Congress, concluding that there has been no fundamental change with the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party by the APC, as the two parties both represent the interests of the bosses.
The two annual one-week NLC Schools commenced in 2002-2003 as a framework for implementing the resolutions of the 2000 Education Summit. This called for a renewal of political education for trade union activists. A ten-week State Level School system with trade union activists participating weekly in four-hour political discussions also started in 2005. The 2015 State Level Schools commenced across the country in mid-July.