Saturday, 21 March 2015

NLC Leadership Tussle, Ministry of Labour Backs Wabba

The Ministry of Labour and Productivity has disowned the Joe Ajaero led faction of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Sen. Joe Ikenya, has said that the ministry was not aware of the existence of a factional leadership of the NLC.

Mr. Ajaero, the General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees, emerged “President of the NLC” at the end of a “special delegates conference” held in Lagos.

The  election, in which all the candidates were returned unopposed, also saw the emergence of two Deputy Presidents – the National President of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Igwe Achese, and General Secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, Issa Aremu.

The minister of Labour said that the ministry participated in the election that that produced the current NLC leadership led by Mr. Ayuba Wabba in Abuja last Saturday.

The minister spoke while receiving the newly elected officers of the NLC led by the President, Ayuba Wabba, in Abuja on Friday.

“For us in the ministry, we want to tell you that you did your election; actually our ministry also supervised it.We have not heard and we have not got any letter from anywhere in respect of any other NLC and it was in the knowledge of every Nigerian that there was an election here in Abuja and our ministry participated in it."he said.

“Therefore we will not run into any controversy because that is internal; the ministry is not part of it and we know that you will sort yourselves out because there is a process and I know that all of you know that process."
Explaining why he formed a parallel National Executive Council of the NLC, Mr. Ajaero said he did it to reclaim his stolen mandate. Mr. Ajaero was emphatic that he was robbed off victory.
Speaking to Premium Times on phone, he said, “In the election of March 12, 2015, I emerged as the President of NLC, despite all manipulations,” he declared.
“We had to set up a parallel executive to reclaim my stolen mandate.”
Despite the announcement on Thursday by the NLC General Secretary, Mr. Ozo-Eson, that the National Administrative Council of the Congress had set up a reconciliation committee to attempt to woo aggrieved unions back to the fold, Mr. Ajaero dismissed it as unacceptable.
“We are not aware of any such arrangement,” he said. “We are yet to know who set up the committee and for what purpose. If someone stole your mandate and he is setting up a committee to reconcile with you, does he have what it takes to invite me before any such committee?”
Asked what the emergence of his executive portends for the labour movement in Nigeria, Mr. Ajaero said: “If the unions were set up to fight injustice and they are now perpetrating injustice, what do you expect?”



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