LAGOS NLC ELECTION HOLDS AMIDST TIGHT SECURITY
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Lagos State council, held her 10th Annual Delegates Congress and election amidst tight security to forestall crisis, which mared the earlier poll in April, 2011. The April poll had ended in chaos as there was misunderstanding between the private and public sector members on the sharing formula of offices in the election.
In his address Comrade Promise Adewusi who also , represented the NLC President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, noted that the council was not expected to fail in conducting a credible election. He remarked: 'The president asked me to remind you that the April election being inconclusive is not expected to fail this time.
'To ensure that the constitution is respected we have decided to extend the election till 4pm to allow any delegate that might be trapped in traffic the opportunity to exercise his right. We cannot fail because Labour is the only voice of the common man, who is endangered by the imminent plan of the government to remove oil subsidy, raise electricity tariff and the most paradoxical is the plan to reduce work force by 40 per cent, and still working hard to create job,' he advised.
Also speaking, the immediate past chairman of Lagos State Council of the NLC, Comrade Alogba, in his opening remarks, thanked all the members of the council for the support given him and his team during his tenure. He noted that Lagos State, being the center of excellence, occupies a strategic position in the Nigerian labour movement. He said: 'Discussing labour in Nigeria without the mention of the Lagos State council, is incomplete, therefore the best is good enough for Lagos council to keep up its leading position.
'Everyone of us present here must be prepared for greater challenges ahead. It will do the council and the state no good to engage in political maneuvering,' he charged. While announcing the results, Comrade Adewusi commented that the election was a huge success, as 800 delegates were in attendance and candidates were able to poll about 600 votes. 'For us to have an election where you have about 800 registered delegates and candidates are scoring about 600 votes, that's a huge success the Nigerian nation has not experienced because if you have 600 votes out 800 it is about 80 per cent of eligible voters, and it has never happened in any election,' he commended.
In the election, which was held on the premises of the Lagos State University (LASU), Comrade Idowu Adelakun emerged the chairman, while Comrades Adeleke Sanni and Okunleye Wasiu were elected vice chairmen. Others elected were Comrade Tejuosho S. A treasurer, Comrades Mike Olanrewaju and Jubril Aliu, auditors,' Comrades Sessi A. Funmi and Shabi Adeniyi ex-officio members.
Explaining the reason for the disruption in the first election, Comrade Adewusi noted that election could not hold because some people outside the movement infiltrated the venue and caused pandemonium. He said, 'The infiltrators were throwing things at people, the whole place became insecure and people had to scamper for their dear lives and, therefore, the election was canceled. 'It was not that the election was inconclusive, it didn't begin in the first place as expected. Leaving from that from that, we had to take some preventive measures to make sure that such things did not occur again, and that's why we had to move to LASU and you can see how peaceful it has turned out. We had a whole lot of security agencies in mufti and in uniform, and the LASU authorities have been wonderful,' he said.
He promised, the new Chariman, Comrade Adelakun remarked that the council had lost six months because of the postponement of the election and pledged that with his experience and that of his team, they will catch up with the lost time, and forge ahead. He called on member unions to rally round the new officers, saying 'with God on our side and our experience in industrial struggle, we'll surely cover up the lost time.
He promised to reconcile with the other parties and make sure that the union has one labour movement in Lagos State. 'We'll give workers a sense of belonging and leave our marks in the sands of time,' he promised.