Labour protests ‘dic­ta­tor­ship’ by prin­ci­pal of­fi­cers

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Fran­cis Okeke

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.”

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