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NLC in disarray over Presidential election

By The Citizen
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The Nigeria Labour Congress has failed to hold itself together after a former National Treasurer of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, was declared the President of the union at the early hours of Saturday.

The Returning Officer of the rescheduled election, which held at the Eagles Square, Aliyu Dangiwa, who announced the result of the election by 12.47am, said Wabba, a former President of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, polled 1,695 votes to defeat his opponent, Joe Ajaero, Secretary General of the National Union of Electricity Employees, who got 1,400 votes.

But 23 unions of the NLC, led by three top union leaders — Ajaero; the President, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Worker, Achese Igwe, and the President, National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, Isah Aremu, called a press conference on Saturday to declare the election inconclusive.

The group of union leaders said the results were declared even when they were not signed by the contestants in line with the stipulations of the NLC constitution.

To underscore that the NLC has been polarised, the Ajaero group has scheduled a Special Delegates Conference of the NLC for Friday and Saturday next week in Lagos.

The group also announced Peter Balogun of the Civil Service Secretariat and Stenographic Workers as the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the conference.

Prior to the announcement of the election results, some top union leaders, loyal to Joe Ajaero, stormed out of the venue of the election in protest.

About 40 minutes to the declaration of the election result, an agent of NUEE, who was at the collation centre collapsed and was quickly taken to Asokoro General Hospital in a police patrol car.

Shortly after that, tension escalated as some union members chanted solidarity songs as they moved towards the collation centre but the police barricade and heavy police and security presence prevented the situation from escalating.

Also, out of the five contestants, who vied for the three slots for Deputy President of the NLC, Dangiwa returned Peters Adeyemi of the North Academic Staff Union; Najeem Yasin, National Union of Road Transport Workers, and Kiri Mohammed, Nigerian Civil Service Union as the elected deputy presidents of the congress