In a development showing the deepening crisis in the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), chapters of the body in Kwara, Edo and Osun states on Thursday held parallel congresses which produced parallel executives.
In Kwara state, the two congresses were supervised by their respective national leaders.
At the state Banquet Hall, opposite the Government House, Ilorin, the Aliyu Waba-led faction produced Alhaji Yekinni Kareem Agunbiade as chairman while Bamidele Okogbe emerged as the chairman of Joe Ajaero faction.
In his welcome address at the Ajaero factional conference, Comrade Issa Aremu, the General Secretary of Textile, Garment and Tailoring
Workers’ Union, who supervised the election as the newly-elected Deputy President of the faction blamed the immediate past NLC president, Abdulwaheed Omar, for the crisis in the congress.
He wondered why NLC under Omar would organise an election involving only three thousand delegates and would not be able to collate and declare results for three days.
Aremu warned workers against leaders of the congress who romance with external powers to mortgage the general interests and rights of Nigerian workers.
He announced to the conference that his faction of NLC would hold its Workers’ Day celebration in Lagos on May 1, 2015.
“NLC is a Nigeria Labour Congress and not Abuja Labour Congress, therefore we can hold May Day Rally anywhere in Nigeria,” he declared.
At the Aliyu Waba faction conference, the outgoing chairman, Comrade Umar Farouq, gave his executive and himself pass mark and commended the state government for a good working relationship with workers.
The Ajaero faction’s congress, held at the International Tobacco Company Hall, elected
Bamidele Okogbe as Chairman, Suleiman Ajape as his Vice 1 and Tajudeen Balogun as Vice Chairman II.
In Edo State, the Wabba faction held its congress at Da Civic Recreation Centre while that of Ajaero held at Royal Mable Hotel.
However, there was a shouting match between the Edo State Commissioner for Establishment and Special Duties, Mr. Didi Adodo (who represented Governor Adams Oshiomhole) and government workers over unpaid salaries at the Wabba faction congress.
The state government had insisted that it was not owing workers in the state any salary, saying that it had always met its obligations to the workers monthly.
This was in response to the allegation by the factional President of the NLC, Ajaero, that the Adulwaheed Umar-led NLC failed to account for the N3bilion mopped up from workers and retired citizens in the Kriston Lally Housing Scam.
While the incumbent state NLC chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Ademokun, was returned unopposed, Mr. Eddy Ossai of the faction loyal to Joe Ajaro was elected the state chairman
In a good will message to delegates of the faction loyal to him, Ajaero said, “It was observed that NLC leadership under Adulwaheed Umar failed not only on core labour/workers issues but lost its basic moral compass completely as manifested in the case of Kriston Lally Housing Scam in which over N3billion mopped up from hapless working and retired citizens of Nigeria was uncounted for, leaving the subscribers disillusioned and utterly frustrated.
“We had all hoped for a reprieve in the last delegates’ conference but he was determined to foist on the NLC a surrogate that will keep that tradition of non-performance. Our determination and resolve to change this narrative was frustrated by the monumental fraud and perversion of the rules, procedures and processes which culminated in the failure of the conference of February 11 and the reconvened one of March 12, 2015.”
In Osun State, a factional leader, Gambi Yusuf, was elected by members loyal to Ajaero. The election held at Osogbo Technical College, Iwo road, Osogbo.
Members of the labour body had earlier threatened a three-day warning strike in the state.
At about 03.15pm, accreditation was on for another election reportedly organised by the Wabba-led faction.
The election holding at Osogbo Sports Stadium, will see Comrade Saka Adesiyan of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), and Comrade Jacob Adekomi of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) jostle for the post of Chairman.
Attempt to reach members of the present NLC proved abortive as calls put to their telephones didn’t go through.