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Labour Party Petitions INEC over ‘Illegal Convention’

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Labour Party Petitions INEC over ‘Illegal Convention
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By Obaje Abdulrahman

 The Labour Party has petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the purported convention held by its  former National Chairman, A. A. Salam.

The petition dated  June 24, 2019, which was signed by all the state chairmen of the party and made available to DAILY ASSET, stated that the so-called convention held by the erstwhile chairman is illegal as the convention was held with “non-party members and miscreants.

The petition further stated: “We write to protest against the illegal convention of the Labour Party by A. A. Salam.

“Sir, you will recall that A.

A. Salaam was removed from office on grounds of gross financial misconduct.

“Recently he gathered miscreants and non-party members in a village in Nasarawa State where he claimed to have held the party’s long awaited convention which the courts had ruled must be expansive and all-inclusive.

“Mr. Chairman, you will recall that your Commission has demonstrated commitment to ensuring that the Consent Judgement issued by the Federal High Court Abuja, is strictly adhered to, but the illegal and unilateral action by A. A. Salam in the name of a party convention appears to be aimed at thwarting the good intentions and efforts of your Commission.

“The Federal High Court Abuja had ruled that an expansive and inclusive National Convention of the party be jointly convened, where all the relevant members and stake holders of the party will participate to democratically elect new leaders for the party.

The petition also claimed that A. A. Salam carried out the convention without the National Working Committee and the party national leaders contrary to the constitution of the party.

It stated further that, “To underscore the illegality of the so-called convention, members of the National Executive Council (NEC) were not informed of the so-called Salam’s Convention contrary to Rule 13 Section B (I – xviii) of the party’s constitution, which deals with the powers and functions of the national executive council, and vests the responsibility of authorizing and convening on the NEC. In this case, the NEC never met to take such a decision, neither was any of us contacted. Even the statutory NEC members of the party as contained in Rule 13 section 2 A (xi and xxii), which are the Presidents and the General Secretaries of TUC AND NLC as well as the Chairperson of NLC Women Commission, were not invited or notified. In a nut-shell, the National Executive Council Members of the Party were not part of that illegal gathering.”, it continued.

The petition therefore prayed that the INEC disregard the so-called convention and regard it as a nullity.

On his part, The National Labour Congress (NLC) President, Comrade Ayuba Waba said that A. A. Salam and his group are  out to hijack the Labour Party and that the party was  not for acquisition.

Comrade Ayuba said “The party is not for acquisition, it cannot be acquired. It is not something that can be acquired and certainly they cannot also acquire Nigeria.

“So I think what they have done is illegality and we are challenging it in court and also through our normal way of engagement and that is why I think the leadership (of the labour party) have come here including the members of the National Working Committee to say that they are not part of what has transpired and they want a process that would actually take back the ownership of the party.

 “And we are also warning. Anybody that does business with Salam and co, including buying of forms cannot receive the support of labour and of any of the social groups I have mentioned above.

 Since 2017 the  Labour Party under the leadership of A. A. Salam has been undergoing myriads of problems that eventually led to his removal from office on grounds of gross financial misconduct.

The national leaders of the party therefore converged on Abuja in frantic effort to salvage the party.

The National Deputy Chairman  of Labour Party, Comrade Ladi Ilya said “What we are trying to do today, you know right from 2017 the party has been in problem of leadership and A. A. Salam was the chairman.

 “Before he became the chair, he was the secretary of the party for eight  years and having served he now requested that he want to be the chair, that he wants to stay just for one tenure and he was allowed to stay based on the understanding of the members of the party and unfortunately, we found out that instead of the party to progress, it was declining and so the executive members decided to say look, people are complaining.

Labour

FG Approves Pay Rise for Civil Servants 

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By Tony Obiechina  Abuja 

The Federal Government has approved 25% and 35% salary increase for civil servants across various consolidated salary structures.

In a statement by the Head of Press, National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission, Emmanuel Njoku, the increases takes effect on January 1, 2024.

The statement added that the augmentation applies to the six remaining consolidated salary structures, namely the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure, Consolidated Research and Allied Institutions Salary Structure, Consolidated Police Salary Structure, Consolidated Para-military Salary Structure, Consolidated Intelligence Community Salary Structure, and Consolidated Armed Forces Salary Structure.

Also approved for augmentation is the pension of retirees enrolled in the Defined Benefits Scheme within the aforementioned consolidated salary structures.

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Labour

Tribute to Chief Frank Kokori

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By Joe Ajaero

We at the Nigeria Labour Congress are deeply saddened by the passing away of Chief Frank Kokori at 80. Our hearts are with his biological  family and the NUPENG family where he was General Secretary. To them and other associates, we offer our condolences.

Chief Frank Kokori was Executive Secretary of OMPADEC which later metamorphosed into NDDC among other national appointments held by him.

He was announced as  Chairman of  the board  of  NSITF but denied that role by some of the powers that be.
He instead chaired the board of Michael Imoudou National  Institute of Labour Studies (MINILS) where he made his impact.
This was his last national assignment.

 Chief Frank Kokori will be remembered for many things but top on that list was  being among the Labour leaders that gave their all in order for our  country to have democracy.

For his  stoic and heroic struggle for the enthronement of democracy, he was arrested and detained by the military  alongside other Labour leaders  for spells  of time under inhumane conditions.

Before his arrest and detention by the Abacha -government, Kokori was in the vanguard of Labour leaders who fashioned an alliance with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on the understanding that then Congress President, Comrade Pascal Bafyau (now of blessed memory) would be vice president to Chief Abiola. Although Chief Abiola (due to circumstances) beyond his control) did not keep that part of the bargain, organised labour gave him their generous and unflinching support. This, coupled with Chief Abiola’ s own credentials gave him coast to coast victory at the polls in the freest election in the history of the country.

Nigeria Labour Congress was similarly  in the vanguard of national resistance when the military scuttled Chief Abiola’ s election or victory. It was in execution of that resistance that Chief Kokori among other Labour leaders was  arrested and incarcerated while others were hounded out of the country. The “lucky” ones were only put on the security watch list and were routinely harassed at their homes, airports and at public functions considered by the State to be subversive. At the risk of sounding immodest, among those arrested and incarcerated at such functions at Ilorin were Comrades Joe Ajaero and Chris Uyot, Deputy General of Congress. There were several others who suffered differing indignities for fighting for democracy.

Even while some of its leaders were in detention with Chief Abiola,  Labour leaders did not give up on their struggle for enthronement of popular democracy. 

For their  “obduracy”, the organised labour paid a heavy price. The  Nigeria Labour Congress and NUPENG for instance, were  illegally dissolved by the military and their assets seized. Sole Administrators were appointed to oversee their affairs until 1999!

It is in light of this that we find it a big irony  that those who collaborated with the military yesterday while Labour was in the trenches would have the audacity to say today that Labour has no business in politics. It is a shame they are allowed to eat  their cake and have it because quite a number of them  through the roof or the back door are in government or positions of influence.  And clearly, the  dilemmna in which we have found ourselves as a people and as a nation cannot be divorced from this  syndrome of opportunism and messiah complex…same faces, same cases, same places ( Akinola Aguda).

Chief Kokori, a dogged and fearless fighter has played his role and gone, history has the next chapter. 

Meanwhile, while the wheel of history turns, we urge the federal government and the Government of Delta State to immortalise him, for what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

 Comrade Joe Ajaero is President, Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC)

      President

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Aviation

Passengers Stranded as NLC Locks Down Abuja Airport

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By Idris Umar Feta Abuja

Many air travellers were left stranded following the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday.

A combined team of NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) blocked both the entry and exit ways of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The protest was part of the series of actions that the two labour unions say they would zero in on Imo, following the attack on the NLC president, Joe Ajaero.

The NLC and TUC had on Tuesday, declared a nationwide strike, which will commence on Tuesday, November 14, due to the face-off with the Imo State Government.

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