The Anambra State Council of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC has raised alarm over plans to plunge the council into crises and derail it from pursuing genuine demands of the state workers from the state government.
The State Chairman of the NLC, Comrade Chinwe Orizu who disclosed this in a media chat on Monday in Awka, alleged plans by some quarters to use some members of the council to cause leadership crisis in the state labour union.
The National Headquarters of the NLC had in a letter dated 17th of December, 2021, asked the then state NLC Chairman, Jerry Nnubia, to hand over the state reins of power to one of his vice chairmen, as he has retired from civil service.
Subsequently, on the 22nd of December, the outgone Chairman handed over to the State Chairperson, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Comrade Orizu.
However, on the same date, some members of the council organized a meeting of the State Executive Council and elected one Humphery Nwafor and Benson Jibike as the Secretary of the Council respectively.
At the media chat, Comrade Orizu said she was handed over the Council’s leadership, sequel to the retirement from the civil service, of the former Chairperson after a meritorious service to the state and also in line with the provisions of the NLC constitution and in compliance with NLC National Secretariat directive.
According to her, she was handed over the mantle of leadership to complete the subsisting tenure of the outgone Chairman, which will expire in April 2023 pending when the next delegate conference will be conducted.
“Comrade Jerry Nnubia on the 12th of September 2021, during the meeting of State Administrative Council(SAC) that is all elected officers of NLC and State Executive Council (SEC) that is all SAC members and all Chairmen and Secretaries of all affiliate unions to NLC, officially informed the SEC-in-session that he has retired from the civil service.
“The SAC and SEC unanimously resolved that Comrade Nnubia should hand over within 3 months from the date of the meeting to bring on board a successor who will pilot the affairs of the Congress for the remaining period of the tenure which will end in April, 2023.
“On 22nd December 2021, during State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, I was unanimously chosen from among the four vice-chairmen by SEC in line with the provisions of NLC constitution and in adherence to the directive of the NLC National headquarters, Abuja to take over as the NLC Chairperson Anambra State Council for the remaining tenure of outgoing chairman.
“The valedictory SEC meeting /handover ceremony was successfully done on the 22nd of December 2021 at the Geogold hotel Awka,” she said.
She however said they have received reports of persons parading themselves as leaders of the state NLC council, urging the workers to disregard them.
“I want to use this platform to inform you all that our attention has been drawn to media reports making the rounds that a set of impostors and misguided elements masquerading as labour leaders have been sponsored to disorganize NLC in Anambra State and have been disseminating malicious and false information to the general public and especially to Anambra State Workers claiming fake Chairmanship and Secretary of NLC in the state.
“We wish to seize this opportunity to request Anambra State Workers and the general public to disregard the antics of these impostors and any misinformation peddled by them as they are desperate, illegal, misguided and paid agents bent on mortgaging the interest of workers in the state for their personal and selfish interests,” she said.
Orizu urged the general public especially Anambra Workers to resist what she tagged ‘the evil and sinister motives of these fraudsters planning to hijack and mortgage their future.’
The labour leader recalled that the problem had started when the outgone State NLC Chairman demanded that the new minimum wage be paid by the state government, commending him for his strides.
She assured that her administration shall assiduously work to ensure that the workers enjoy all the goodies of a diligent worker.
“Our main interest is to fight for the rights and welfare of workers in the state.
“It is no longer news that the new minimum wage which we negotiated with the state government was haphazardly implemented, with frivolous claims that the development was from the workers.
“We want to recommence that discussion with the incoming state administration of Professor Charles Soludo and we want to urge him to be wary of issues that will cause industrial disharmony in the state,” she said.
Meanwhile, when contacted, the factional Secretary of the State NLC, Comrade Benson Jibike said they conducted the election based on the request by the state government for labour to organize itself in the state, saying they have not run foul of the NLC constitution.
He said what they did was a by-election to get interim leadership for the Council pending when elections will be held.