2023: Why NUMW declared support for Tinubu/Shettima candidacy – NUMW President, Comr. Hamza Muhammad 

Comr. Hamza Muhammad

The President of the Nigeria Union of Mines Workers (NUMW), Comrade Hamza Muhammad on Monday said the National Executive Council of the Union has embraced the manifesto of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tunibu and Sen. Kashim Shetima as it relates the Nigerian Mining sector, stating that the Union will work with relevant stakeholders to ensure electoral victory of the All

Progressives Congress in the 2023 presidential elections.

“We engaged all the political parties in contest alongside their candidates, we listened them – their plans for the solid mineral sector and the welfare of workers, and it is our unanimous opinion that no other presidential candidate has been able to convince the union of its progressive plans for the development of the mining sector as has done Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” he said, adding that the declaration of support is in the best interest of the Nigeria mining sector and the set goals of national economic diversification.

The Nigerian Union of Mines Workers is an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress, and is the umbrella body responsible for advocacy matters of mine workers in the country.

“It is on this note that we hereby declare the unalloyed support of the Nigeria Union of Mines Workers for the candidacy of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Sen. Kashim Shettima in the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria,” he said, adding that the Union will call on the 36 Chairmen of State chapters and other leaders of the union across various mineral sector establishments in the country to support the BAT/Shettima candidacy.

Comr. Hamza, who spoke on Monday evening after a consultative meeting between the NLC, its affiliate associations and Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, Sen. Kashim Shettima, Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Gov Samuel Lalong expressed confidence in the Ayuba Wabba-led NLC to ensure that APC Chatter of Demands presented to the APC flag bearer and his Campaign Council will be fully honored when Asiwaju/Shettima get into office as President and Vice President respectively.

Hamza said: “Ordinarily, the NUMW is not partisan or political; we are a union consisting of mine workers who may have various political affiliations.”

“However, we soon realized that our neutral posture in past elections makes it difficult for us to challenge failing leaders.”

“It is only when you have an agreement with someone that you can challenge the person, so we decided to engage all those in contest and listen to their promises and evaluate their assurances and give our support,” he said, adding that the Union is convinced in the manifesto of BAT/Shettima as it relates the development of the mining sector and welfare of mine workers.

Hamza, who called on the Miners Association of Nigeria and all professional associations and groups in the solid mineral sector to engage the presidential aspirants and their respective political parties, said the measure is necessary as it will provide the information needed by practitioners and enthusiasts of the mining sector to decide whom to give their votes in the interest of mining and national development.

“Do not just sit and watch things happen, go and ask the presidential candidates and their political parties what they will do for you and the mining sector, ask them when and how they will restore Ajaokuta Steel Company and the National Iron Ore Mining Company, we need to engage them on funding support for ASM miners, we need to know what they intend to do and how they hope to achieve it, we need a special purpose bank for mining entrepreneurs,” he said, stating that all associations in the sector have a political role to play.

Hamza espoused that “as a progressive Union, the NUMW has engaged the political parties and their candidates and settled for Asiwaju and Shetima candidacy.”

The meeting, which was chaired by the President of the NLC, Comr Ayuba Wabba also had in attendance, the President of the Trade Union Congress, Members of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), flag bearer of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubua and his running mate, Sen Kashim Shettima, the Executive Governor of Jigawa and Kebbi States, the Director General, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Gov Samuel Lalong of Plateau State, the former Governor of Edo State, Comr. Adams Oshiomole, the Executive Secretary of the Presidential Campaign Council, Hon.James Faleke and other dignitaries.

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