NLC gives Gov Otti 14-day ultimatum to restore elected Abia NULGE officials
Written by Adeola Ibrahim on October 23, 2023
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has handed a 14-day ultimatum to Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, to restore elected officials of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, in the state.
The Union also tasked Otti to direct its officers who had illegally taken over the NULGE secretariat in Umuahia to vacate without delay and make a public statement recognizing the elected union officials as the authentic NULGE officials in the state.
The NLC urged the Governor to release all withheld check-off dues accruing to NULGE which has not been paid to the union since he assumed office and pay appropriate interest on the total sum.
The national leadership of NULGE had on May 22, 2023, conducted an election for the Abia chapter of the union which produced Comrade Ikechi Nwaigwe, as state president of the union and 10 others as executive members. The elected officials were sworn in on September 27, 2023, by the national leadership.
However, the state government declined to recognize the elected NULGE officials, insisting that the election did not follow due process.
The government had set up a caretaker committee to oversee the affairs of NULGE in the state and conduct another election within three months.
In a letter addressed to Governor Otti and signed by the National President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, the NLC said it is deeply concerned about a report communicated to it by the national leadership of NULGE over the illegal dissolution of its elected officials and appointment of a caretaker committee by the state government.
It also condemned what it described as the punitive transfer of the elected state president of Abia NULGE, Comrade Ikechi Nwaigwe, from the local government service to the state civil service.
The Union reminded the state government of the independence of trade unions as stipulated in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Trade Union Act and the International Labour Organization law which forbids state government from interfering in the leadership of trade unions.
“NLC is deeply concerned about a report communicated by the national leadership of NULGE concerning the illegal dissolution of the State Administrative Council and appointment of an illegal caretaker committee by the Abia state government.
“We demand that the Abia State government should make a public statement recognizing the purportedly dissolved NULGE Administrative State Council as the only leadership of NULGE officials in Abia State state.
“That the Abia state government should release all withheld check-off dues accruing to NULGE with immediate effect and pay appropriate interest on the total sum that has been withheld. That the Abia state government should direct its officers who had illegally taken over the NULGE secretariat in Umuahia to vacate same immediately
“That the state government should reverse the punitive redeployment of Comrade Ikechi Nwaigwe, the duly elected state president of Abia NULGE from the local government service to the state civil service.
“That the cessation of deployment of threat and the Abia state security outfit to cajole and harass trade union leaders, especially the duly elected NULGE officials and workers in Abia state.
“We look forward to your addressing these issues within two weeks to avoid the consequences of a sure-footed response from the Nigeria working people.”