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NLC Leadership: Keeping Faith With Prince Adeyanju


It is no longer news that the amiable and humane President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Prince Adewale Adeyanju is set to contest the office of the Deputy National President of the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) at the NLC 13th National Delegate Conference holding 7th and 8th of February 2023.

By providence, the labour leader grew through the rank, indeed, from the humble start of a common maritime labourer to becoming supervisor, district head, and through other intermediate industry leadership positions, until becoming the President of the Dockworkers Branch; and subsequently climbing up the ladder to become the President General of MWUN.

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For a man who has seen it all, one at the helm of leadership of the maritime labour, unarguably, the most important arm of the nation’s labour movement, and one who evinces trust, hope, confidence and charisma, Adeyanju is the man to keep faith with, to help drive the vision and objective of the NLC for the next dispensation.

That his name resonates in the maritime industry and beyond, and is respected highly in both government quarters’ and among his own, is because he has credibility and has built massive acceptance for himself, in the maritime industry and without. He is a colossus who bestrides both worlds, dispensing sound leadership capacity, speaking truth to power at critical moments; and yet providing responsible, conscientious and forward looking leadership.

Comrade Adeyanju was instrumental in professionalizing the maritime labour alongside his predecessors, and today, it is evident that maritime workers have attained the right professionalism. For this feat, both the MWUN PG and the generality of maritime and dockworkers are respected for its pragmatic and responsible engagements with employers of labours and regulators.

Adeyanju is a believer and indeed, an apostle of industrial peace and harmony, and yet an avid defender of his constituency, to the extent that should he for obvious reasons becomes critical and strident about any issue;  government and employers often explore a quick approach to turn around such issues into a win-win situation, in deference for Comrade Adeyanju, who they know and respect for his broadmindedness, national patriotic credentials, and his huge concern about the economic wellbeing of the country, as much he cherish the protection of workers’ rights and privileges.

As a matter of fact, Nigerian workers and by extension, the NLC needs Adeyanju, and not the other way round, speaking figuratively.  Nigeria workers needs him more than he need them because, in the final analysis, his desire to serve as NLC Deputy President can only up workers welfare, which appears to be his sole motivating desire.

His established charismatic personality in government and employers circle can only open the doors wider for labour movement, and create friendlier ambience in labour/employers engagement. Adeynaju has proven to possess the midas touch to attract positive alliances and engagements, when it matters most. There is no better guarantee to successful labour dispute and or demands when the leadership is respected for his views by the regulatory agencies and employers, and Adeyanju has the grace, bonding and special affinity in abundance.

Unassuming and humility personified, Comrade Adeyanju keeps in touch with labour leaders across the national umbrella. Those who are close to him say he does not do so merely by telephone conversations, he also gets across physically, to check on colleague leaders, same way he check on even the most ordinary maritime worker,  in times of exigencies, either personal losses, pains or celebration.

The maritime labopur leader is not known to stand aloof; and arrogance is far from his person as he meets even the least maritime worker if the need arises. This is the character of the man seeking to be the second in command at the nation’s labour movement. A highly detribalized leader, Comrade Adeyanju did not as much allow a frown to cross his face when an issue concerning  a middle level maritime labour leader who stridently opposed his candidacy to the leadership of MWUN.

Adeyanju continued to work with him as the man maintained his position, despite initial anxiety that having won the contest, Adeyanju might come after him. No leader can be more broadminded, liberal and circumspect. Nigerian labour movement needs purposeful, pragmatic and selfless leaders like the MWUN President to run its affairs, as it can only get better for workers.

For reminder, the multiple awards winning Adeyanju was instrumental in protecting the Lagos ports from criminal arsonists hiding under the ENDSARS protests in 2020. He mobilised workers to condone off the ports in Lagos amid threats by criminal elements believed to have hijacked the protest to attack the ports.

An unrelenting crusader for social justice and fairness, a dogged fighter for workers right, Adeyanju decries what he calls slave wage, anytime he mobilizes to fight for workers benefits.

Under his watch, and the recors are there for anyone to see, industrial peace peaked, while workers wage improved exponentially, especially at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), where maritime workers have continued to receive priority attention. He also succeeded in engaging the management of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to provide dockworkers with biometric identification, believed to have multiple uses.

He has continued to expand the horizon of improved collective economic and financial freedom of workers and better established unionism by establishing businesses such as the union’s current entry into the haulage services provider, to shore up its revenues.

Under his leadership, a system tool known as the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) provides for effective and transparent wage review for maritime workers between employers, regulatory agencies and the union.

He derives great joy when workers are satisfied and happy, and does not sleep until the full benefits of workers involved in industrial accidents or death at work place are paid, and handed over to their dependants.  It is said that when maritime workers cry, Adeyanju weeps! No leadership cab be more engaging and meaningful!!

Prince Adeyanju  will no doubt remain a locomotive power driver for the NLC, where he is expected to spread his principle of improved living standard for workers. He will be slogging it out with two other contenders namely; Comrade Audi Titus Amba of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and Comrade Kabiru Ado Sanni of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) during the election.

As Nigerians keep date with this important event, workers across the divide should keep faith with destiny by voting Comrade Adeyanju, the man that is trusted to fit the leadership bill, the man with the capability and thrust to deliver.

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