By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – The organized labour on Friday advised those agitating for Self Determination and the government to exercise restraints and follow the civil way in whatever they are doing.
This is as the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, have told the Federal Government to ignore the seven day ultimatum given by the United Labour Congress, ULC, saying that the body was an illegal organization which was not yet a Federal Government registered Federation of Trade Unions.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the National President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba lamented that insecurity was creeping into the nation’s polity as a result of the agitations by the separatist group, Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the deployment of the military to the South East with the name Operation Python Dance 11, advising that all the involved parties should trade cautiously.
He said, “People must continue to exercise restraint and must use peaceful approach o that it does not escalate. We must continue to adopt civil approach to quell agitations. We must continue to advance issues of peace and dialogue.”
On the seven days ultimatum issued by the Comrade Joe Ajaero-led United Labour Congress, Wabba said that the promoters of the yet to be registered centre had been using blackmail against the government and advised that their threat should be ignored.
He said, “We have called this press conference to address the subject of an alleged seven days final strike notice, issued recently by our erstwhile colleagues, who are parading themselves as a trade union centre, going by the name of “United Labour Congress of Nigeria”.
“Our initial reaction was to ignore the purported ultimatum issued via a press statement on 11th September, 2017, as a mere attention seeking gimmick. However, since the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has entered into correspondence with these individuals, and they have in turn resorted to an exercise intent on blackmail with the ultimate goal of using this weapon to obtain registration, we feel constrained to making the following comments on the unfolding situation.
“Despite listing twelve (12) demands in their 11th September press statement, we have no doubt that those behind the ultimatum were only hoping to blackmail the Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to register their association as a central labour organization, as they stated in their demand numbers 9-12.
“We have no doubt the officials of the Federal Ministry of Labour would deal with the situation as the laws of the country governing labour relations are very clear on the procedure guiding registrations of Trade Unions and trade union centres.
“Against the background of persistent mischief and dragging the names of our two centres to the mud by the promoters of the United Labour Congress, it has become pertinent to once again recall the events leading to their current desperation.
“Since their failure in the March 2015, 10th delegates conference of the NLC, these individuals have tried to use every tactic to destabilise the industrial relations scene in the country. First they tried to factionalise the NLC, and for almost two years were parading themselves as factional leaders of the NLC.”