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Labour Chief Cautions NLC Leaders Against Electoral Malpractice During Delegates’ Conference



THE Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu has said that unless there is transparency in the conduct of the rescheduled Union election during the 11th Delegates conference, the process may be again marred with crisis.

  Aremu spoke in Kaduna during a press briefing at the Textile Labour House, saying that there was serious indication that the Committee saddled with the responsibility for the NLC delegates conference has not learnt from the mistakes that truncated the earlier election that ended in crisis.

  According to him, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC has fixed Thursday March 12, 2015 for the conclusion of the 11th Delegates Conference of Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) dealing with the election of National Officers of Congress, saying: “If we must ensure a successful election and avoid the crisis that marred the previous election, basic rules and practices guiding elections must be strictly followed”. 

 He said: “There must be fairness and equal level playing field for all contestants”, adding, “we call on the NLC General Secretary to make sure the new election is not marred with the mistake of the past so that we can have a free and fair election.”

 “We raise this point against the background of our observation from the new list of contestants circulated to all industrial unions by the General Secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson. The list of contestants did not follow alphabetical order even when the General Secretary clearly stated in the letter dated February 26, 2015 to all the unions that accreditation of delegates will be based on alphabetical order.” 

  Aremu, who is also the General Secretary of the Textile, Tailoring and Garment Workers Union remarked that: “Labour joins other Nigerians and the global community to congratulate the elder statesman and former Civilian President of Nigeria, Alhaji Aliyu Usman Shehu Shagari on the occasion of his 90th birthday anniversary on Wednesday February 25, 2015”, pointing out that “history will credit the former President Shagari for being the first democratically elected President to sign into law the first national Minimum Wage Act in Nigeria.”

  He recalled: “NLC under its founding President, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, demanded and led a national strike for national minimum wage in 1981 during the administration of former President Shehu Shagari” stressing that, “NLC has improved in its minimum wage since then”.  

  He said: “The recent national acknowledgement and celebration of the leadership qualities of former President Shehu Shagari shows that the problem with Nigeria may not necessarily be absence of leadership but lack of acknowledgement of some worthy leadership qualities of some of the leaders.”

 “Shagari reached a number of agreements with labour over a wide range of issues that included minimum wage review, car and leave allowances, provident fund and decent work in general. It is to the eternal credit of Shagari’s tenure and his team (the notable being Alhaji Shehu Musa) that there was only one national strike, which lasted one day during the second Republic dispensation compared to the successive administration. 

 The NLC chieftain also commended the recent successes recorded by the Nigerian military against Boko Haram insurgency. 

 He stated:”We commend in particular the recapture of major towns in the North Eastern States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States by the Nigerian military and the gallantry of the some of the recaptured towns including Bara, the headquarters of Gulani Local Council of Yobe State and Gulak, in Madagali Local Council of Adamawa State. Other locations also said to have been retaken from the insurgents include, Shikah, Fikayel, Tetebah, Buza, Kamla, Bumsa, Mubi, Michika, Vimtim among others”.

“We commend President Goodluck Jonathan for the renewed commitment in the war against insurgency, his recent visit to some recaptured areas and the reassurance that the military would soon recapture other Nigerian territories under the control of the violent sect in no distant time.” 

 “ We also commend the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff, Major General Minimah and all the generals and other security services for the coordinated approach to rid the nation of insurgency. We call on all Nigerians to support the determination of the federal government and the Nigerian Mmlitary to end insurgency in the country. Security in the North East is security for the entire Republic of Nigeria,” he said.

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