WorldStage Newsonline-- The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has summoned members of its National Administrative Council to the Labour House, Abuja for an emergency meeting over the ongoing crisis which has degenerated to a move by a group of industrial unions acting under the auspices of Integrity Group, to break away.
Sources confirmed that the meeting may last more than three days, depending on how soon NAC is able to strategise and proffer solution to the issues at stake to save the congress from total collapse.
NLC’s Acting General Secretary, Comrade Owei Lakemfa recently released a statement accusing the government of planning to register another Labour Centre to sabotage the congress in its pursuit to fight for the interest of Nigerian workers and masses.
The statement, entitled “President Jonathan Must Prevent Labour and Political Crises” urged President Jonathan to shun moves by government’s functionaries to “create avoidable labour and political crises in the country by seeking to break up the congress and impose a new regime of fuel price hikes on the country.”
This, according to Lakemfa, was because the government sees “the NLC as being too powerful.”
The second allegation was a new labour centre, which he termed government agents, “are also responsible for the anti-labour bill currently before the National Assembly.”
Lakemfa therefore advised that “trade unionists who have enlisted in this project and those being enticed to join them, to retrace their steps as the congress will not allow the ranks of the working people to be split.”
The crisis started during the 10th Delegate Conference of the congress held in March, 2011 in Abuja which eventually led to the intrigues that led to the removal of Comrade John Odah, former General Secretary of NLC.
The major grouse of the group, according to a strong member of Integrity Group, was the way Odah, head of the secretariat was removed, and the sack of a few other people who were close to him.
When asked why labour allowed the crisis to continue, the source said that Integrity Group waited for over a year for the congress to realize its mistakes and put its house in order, but instead Lakemfa went to release a statement insulting our integrity.
Top official of Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Comrade Peter Adeyemi, said Lakemfa move to rope government into the crisis in NLC was unfair and an act of wickedness.
Adeyemi reiterated that Lakemfa and his backers in were aware that the leadership crisis in NLC predates the Jonathan administration. “To therefore ascribe the moves being made by our group to pullout and register as a labour centre to government is not only unconscionable but morally reprehensible,” the group stated.
On his part, Chairman of the group who is also president of the hotel union, Comrade Leke Succeess said that that there were three litigations against the NLC before the National Industrial Court since last year corroborated the entrenched leadership crisis, adding that that the crisis had further deepened and divided the NLC into multiple factions and may have consumed Lakemfa by now, if the late Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, who was set to resume and take over the position as Acting General Secretary, had not been assassinated.