Crisis in the Nigeria Labour Congress deepens as parallel councils emerge in Oyo State
Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan
The leadership crisis that is bedeviling the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) at the national level has degenerated to Oyo State as the union held parallel congresses to mark this year’s Workers’ Day. The aftermath of the congresses, which ushered in Comrade Waheed Olojede and Comrade Sulaimon Odumuyiwa as new Oyo state chairmen of the union, resulted to staging of the parallel rally. While Olojede faction held its congress inside Lekan Salami Stadium Adamasingba, the Odumuyiwa faction held his own May Day with a symposium at the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) state headquarters building, Apata. Odumuyiwa’s faction’s symposium was well attended with two former state chairmen in attendance, Comrade Ibrahim Bolomope and Alamu Oloyede.
Odumuyiwa flanked by his Vice Chairman, Comrade Olayemi Oluleye, assured the workers of adequate protection of their rights and admonished them to continue to toe the path of honour in conduct and be good ambassadors of the labour unions wherever they find themselves. Odumuyiwa also pledged their support to the Federal Government under the incoming administration of General Muhammed Buhari and the governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. He nevertheless tasked the leaders to be true friend of the workers.
In the symposium lecture with the theme “The Nigerian Labour Movement and the quest for good governance” delivered by a veteran union leader, Comrade Sanya Adejuyigbe, stressed the need for united workforce to articulate the position and stand point of Nigerian workers before “the new government that appears set to deliver the country from her present socio-economic crisis.” Similarly, the Olojede faction appealed to the State Government to ensure quick resolution of the three months workers’ salary arrears in the state.
Olojede said the new leadership of the state workforce under his administration would partner with the state government to move the state forward, adding that, “We will engage government in a round-table at resolving the workers salary arrears because a happy worker is he or she that produces,” he said. He urged Nigerians to accept the struggle of building the nation as a collective project, saying they are all under the responsibility of moving the nation forward. “Employers of labour, both public and private should see workers as partners in progress and should create conducive environment for them to function,” he said. In his response, Governor Ajimobi promised to provide all necessary welfare package to workers and the citizenry, just as he attributed the non-payment of salaries to paucity of funds from the federal government.