Presidential Election Divides NLC

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The Nigeria Labour Congress is divided over the outcome of election which produced Ayuba Wabba, candidate of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, as president of the union for another four years, while Joe Ajaero, his opponent, alleged election manipulation

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Mar. 23, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT  |

THE crisis in the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, is far from settled. Its rescheduled election which produced Ayuba Wabba, candidate of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria on Saturday, March 14, is still seriously being contested by Joe Ajero of Electricity Union, who also contesting for the national president of the NLC. Ajaero rejected the outcome the election saying it was manipulated by the electoral body in favour of Wabba and some candidates.

At press time, Ajaero and his group were still in a crucial meeting to determine their next line of actions. He also lamented that some delegates from the south-south and south-east were disenfranchised to favour other ‘anointed’ candidates. Prior to the re-scheduled election, Ajaero’s camp alleged that the exercise was holding amid a number of unresolved issues that characterised the previous poll.

Indeed, the outcome of the election on Saturday, March 14, showed that Wabba pulled 1,695 votes, while Ajaero got 1,140 votes. Other members of the new national executive include Peters Adeyemi, Najeem Yasin and Kiri Mohammed, who emerged as deputy presidents. The new three vice-presidents are Asugbuni Amaechi, Dusunma Lawal and Oyelekan Lateef, while Boniface Isok was elected the congress trustee, and Sefiyav Mohammed, financial secretary.

Elected as auditors are Anchaver Simeon, Leke Success and Yemisi Gbamgbose, while the ex-officio officers are Amina Damesi and Comfort Oko. The rescheduled election was held after the previous one held at the end of the national delegates’ conference between February 8 and 11, 2015 ended in fiasco.

Before the election Peter Ozo-Eson, general secretary of the NLC, said a total of 3,119 delegates were qualified to participate in the conference to elect the president and other members of the executive. Among the 43 unions, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, which nominated Wabba, controlled the bulk of the delegates had 526 members, while the Nigeria Union Electricity Employees, NUEE, which sponsored Ajaero candidacy, had 471 delegates.

The Nigeria Union of Teachers had the third highest number of 383 delegates, with the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions having 210 delegates; the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, 187 delegates, and National Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, 182 delegates.

Other unions included the Nigeria Civil Service Union, 131 delegates; the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, 123 and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, 91 delegates. The National Association of Academic Technologists; Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria; Nigeria Welders and Fitters Association, and Nigeria Union of Mine Workers had with six delegates each.

There were also the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union; Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions, with five delegates each. To be able to tip the support base of the delegates in their favour, the two presidential candidates aligned and re-aligned with various affiliate unions. Wabba’s camp was said to have gotten the upper hand after it successfully wooed most of the unions with the largest delegation to its side.

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