President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Mr. Abdulwaheed Omar, urged leaders in the country to defend the interest of the people rather than big business and Western interests.
Omar, whose comments were contained in a statement on Wednesday, said Chavez would be missed by millions of Venezuelans who benefitted from his populists progammes and their friends all over the world who admired his policies.
He said, “That he will be missed by his people and other working families is an obvious statement. This remarkable working class leader, is a hero of the people, and needs emulation by all Third World leaders, particularly in Nigeria – leaders that will stand up for the interest of the poor and not big business and western interests.”
Omar addd that the late Venezuelan leader would be remembered for his economic policies which put the poor at the centre such as free health services, subsidised food and free shelter.
He also recalled that Chavez nationalised the oil economy and ensured that oil prices were kept low for the poor and made serious contributions to the economies of countries in Latin America through oil subsidies and discounts which angered the United States.
He said several state-owned refineries established under him were supplying fuel at drastically reduced price not only to his people but also to other countries in the subregion.
Omar said, “Hugo Chavez was a remarkable leader who held his own against the overbearing influence of developed nations and sought to demonstrate that there are viable development models to that of the West.
“He nationalized the commanding heights of the economy, kept oil prices low for the poor, propped up the economies of many a Latin American country via sustainable oil price discounts and subsidies for which he earned the wrath of the United States, understandably.”
The NLC President recalled the comment by a Venezualan ambassador under Chavez, who advised Nigeria to free the oil sector from the stranglehold of multinational oil corporations in the interest of Nigerians, saying the man expressed the views of his boss.
Source - Punch News