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NLC, Ngige mourn ace broadcaster, RATTAWU scribe Odugala




The sudden death of the General Secretary of the Radio Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU), Henry Odugala, at his prime is a massive loss to the labour movement in the country and the media profession, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said.

The General Secretary of the labour centre, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson said in Abuja that the late Odugala was a consummate broadcaster, a cerebral unionist with deep convictions and capacity for spontaneity, which he deployed with flourish at various public fora.

He added that Odugala, who flourished and was an impeccable presenter of a morning show on DBN Television station, was a people’s delight and had presentation skills and carriage that were simply inimitable.

Odugala, noted for his baritone voice and a reputable master of ceremony at most labour unions’ events before he took ill, was described as a voice for the oppressed especially workers in the media who are subjected to inhuman treatment, did not trust the system, no matter how benevolent, and accordingly called for eternal vigilance of progressive forces.

The NLC scribe submitted that Odugala was equally a strong believer in the culture of internal governance in unions as a panacea to corruption and dictatorship.

His humility was unmistakable as he cultivated both the young and the old, the high and the mighty, often with an outstretched hand and a smile gracefully planted on his dimpled cheek.

Ozo-Eson noted that even before he became the General Secretary of, arguably one of our most vocal unions, Odugala had earned his stripes as a committed progressive in both student union movement’ civil society and political organisations, especially NADECO, on the basis of which he was a regular guest of the State security outfits.

He stated that on Odugala’s broad shoulders and measured steps rested rebellion of a unique kind.

The NLC General Secretary declared that perhaps, one of Odugala’s greatest attributes was his flair for combining humour with serious work and for moulding something out of the mischievous and the sublime.

“Odugala’s death is a blow not only to his union or the Nigeria Labour Congress but the entire Labour Movement. We all shall sorely miss him. We have indeed lost a star,” he added.

On his part, the Minister of Labor and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, described the late Odugala as a quintessential labour leader.

Expressing utter disbelief at his sudden demise, Ngige said labour has lost one of its leaders whose insistence on social dialogue as a way to industrial harmony was exemplary.

The Minister said: “The issue of improved remuneration for practicing journalists, commensurate with the attendant job risk, unique and tasking work schedules has been on the top burner for years now. RATTAWU, which is central to this struggle, has remained steadfast to achieving the objective through broad based social dialogue. The efforts of late Henry Odugala in this struggle must be put on record.”

The Minister noted that Odugala passed on just few days after the commemoration of the international day to end impunity and crimes against Journalists and journalism practice, a course he believed so much in, only added to the pains of his irreplaceable loss.

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