Labour protests ‘dictatorship’ by principal officers
Organised labour, comprising Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and society organisations, including ‘progressive’ delegates, have accused principal officers of the National Conference of dictatorship in the conduct of their duties.
They are protesting against the “decision of the Conference leadership to unilaterally reverse a decision consensually taken by the entire membership of the conference that chairmen and deputy chairmen of committees would be elected or selected by the committees.”
Conference Chairman Idris Kutigi had in the heat of a disagreement over voting pattern, named 50 persons to resolve the matter, but the 50 also decided in their meeting that committee chairmen and the deputies should be selected by the principal officers.
A statement signed by NLC President Abdulwahed Omar, his TUC counterpart Bobboi Kaigama and Femi Falana, who is the coordinator of civil society delegates, said the “50 acted in violation of their brief since their mandate was to determine what should constitute a majority vote in the absence of a consensus and not to do other things.”
While demanding the “restoration of the original decision of the plenary session that committees should choose their leaders,” the group said the “scenario of a few privileged people tinkering with the decision of a whole House is nothing but dictatorship and tyranny of a few. If it is allowed to stand, it may become a feature of the Conference.”
Reacting to the accusation, Assistant Secretary for Media and Communication to the Conference, James Akpandem, who quoted relevant rules, said the initial decision was put to vote and members agreed for “principal officers to select chairmen and deputy chairmen of the proposed committees to reflect competence, federal character and equity.”