NLC affiliate unions protest Edo council election result
No fewer than 15 affiliate unions of the Edo council of the Nigeria Labour Congress, have dissociated themselves from the process that produced Odion Olaye as chairman of the council.
These unions, in a jointly signed press release issued and made available to newsmen on Sunday in Benin, said the purported delegate conference held on March 7, 2023, was an act of illegality held in defiance to a subsisting matter in the National Industrial Court, Abuja, challenging the process and procedure of the conference which violated the congress’ constitution.
The union said, “we had protested through a petition dated February 28th, 2023 to the national secretariat through the General Secretary complaining about the overbearing, intimidating, and bullying attitude of theOlaye, who invaded a State Executive Council meeting with thugs, disrupting the composition or setting up of the Screening Committee as well as ratifying the nomination of delegates to the state conference as provided for in Articles 11(2)(vi) and 29(4) of the NLC Constitution, as amended.
“In furtherance of our determination to check or prevent an illegality to be foisted on us, an action was filed at the National Industrial Court, Abuja, complaining about the violation of the provision of the constitution that guides NLC state conference/election.
“Despite the service of the court process on the National Secretariat, President and Secretary General of the NLC who are parties to the suit, they still went ahead with the election in defiance of the pending matter”.
The protesting affiliate unions also said, “It became too obvious that the state government interfered in the election process with its open support for the candidacy of the Olaye, who is a member and leader of the Peoples Democratic Party in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State, by intimidating, harassing and threatening workers in the public sector of posting them to rural areas or outright dismissal if they fail to declare support for Olaye.
“At the state conference, which was supposed to be an exclusive NLC matter, the PDP candidates for the House of Assembly were brought in to campaign if not for the prompt refusal of the delegates, the conference would have been turned to a PDP political rally.”
It is recalled that pandemonium broke out at the conference when it was announced that one of the chairmanship aspirants was disqualified.
The refusal of the Returning Officer to entertain questions on the disqualification led to the disruption of the conference with thugs unleashing violence on delegates and everyone scampered for safety as over 90 per cent of delegates and 15 Union left the venue.