Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 11 September 2015 | 2,957 times
A factional Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abia State, Comrade Christopher Uche Ezekiel, has dissociated his group from the rally against corruption by the rival group in the state, describing the exercise as a charade.
Addressing newsmen in Umuahia yesterday, Ezekiel maintained that championing the welfare of workers at this material time was more important than a cosmetic war against corruption being waged by the Wabba Ayuba-led faction of the NLC.
Chairman of NLC in Abia State, Comrade Uchenna Obigwe, led workers to participate in the nation-wide NLC-organised rally in Umuahia.
The placard-bearing protesters, dancing to music from a vehicle that heralded the procession, visited the Abia State House of Assembly and Government House, where they submitted letters signed by Comrade Ayuba Wabba and Comrade Bobboi Kaigama as Presidents of NLC and the Trade Union Congress respectively.
He told newsmen that corruption has eaten dip into the fabrics of Nigerian system to the extent that merit has been relegated to the background and there was need to rise against the cankerworm so that it would not sink the country.
However, Ezekiel explained that the Joe Ajaero-led faction did not participate in the rally because the reconciliation committee working to resolve the crises arising from the last national delegates conference of the NLC was yet to submit its report.
He also asserted that the rally was rooted in corruption as the labour leaders had directed all industrial union to pay N5, 000 in support of the rally when they had allegedly received financial support from government.
“From Umuahia here, we are not hiring any vehicle, why taxing all industrial unions N5, 000? We said it is part of corruption whereas they have received some financial assistance from government. We rejected the levy and said you cannot tax the industrial unions because we all are in the state capital and each union is to bring 10 delegates. This caused trouble among the industrial unions. If you look at the town, there is no sign that there is any rally going on,” he said.
Ezekiel further accused the Obigwe-led group of looking the other way when Labour in other states are fighting for salary arrears of the workers to be sourced from the bailout fund, saying: “This is supposed to be the concern of the NLC as well as the welfare of our workers. But we have left that behind to talk about fighting corruption. This fight is not real.”
“We are in support of enforcing discipline as a way of curbing corruption. This discipline must start with the labour leaders themselves first before taking the war to the public domain because if you are throwing a stone in a glass house in which you also live in, you will be affected.”
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