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Breaking: Ugboaja emerges NLC General Secretary

…As Bello of Textile Union is named Deputy Gen. Sec

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

FORMER General Secretary National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non Metallic Products Employees, NUCFRLANMPE, and a 1987 Law graduate of the University of University of Calabar, Cross River State, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, has emerged the new General General Secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC.


He will succeed the outgoing General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson.

Ugboaja, until now was a Principal Assistant General Secretary and Head of Industrial Relations and Organising, of NLC, came top among four candidates that put in applications for the influential job.

Other candidates were Comrade Rotimi Olusegun, the congress Accountant, Comrade Chris Uyo, Deputy General of Secretary and former head of Information Department and Comrade Benson Upah, Head of information.

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Vanguard gathered however, that the three organs of NLC at their respective meetings  between Monday and Wednesday  in Kano, ratified and approved Ugboaja’s appointment having being recommended by an Eight-Man Committee, known as NLC Establishment Committee.

The three organs are the National Administrative Council, NEC, made up of elected officers of NLC, which met on Monday; the Central Working Committee, made up of Presidents and General Secretaries of affiliate unions, which met on Tuesday; and National Executive Council, NEC, made up of Presidents, General Secretaries and Treasurers of affiliate unions as well as states’ Chairmen and secretaries of NLC. The NEC met yesterday.

The man Ugboaja

Barrister Emmanuel Okechukwu Ugboaja born May 15,    1966, is a 1987 Law graduate of the University    of University of Calabar.

After four years as a private Legal Practitioner, he arguably became the first lawyer to work full time in Nigeria when he in 1993 joined the National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees, an affiliate of NLC where he rose to serve as    General Secretary from 2000 to 2005.

He became Coordinator of Advocacy and Mobilisation of Alliance for Credible Elections in 2006.

The incoming General Secretary joined the NLC Secretariat in 2009.

Seen by many as one of Labour ‘ s finest, Comrade Ugboaja was a delegate to the 2005 President Obasanjo’s Political Reforms And Constitutional Conference, and  was also a Labour delegate to the 2014 President Jonathan Constitutional Conference .

Comrade Ugboaja almost vied into politics earlier in the year when he contested for the House of Representatives where sought to represent Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State in the House of Assembly.

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A well travelled unionist, Ugboaja is as robust on the negotiations table as he is rugged on the picket line and barricades.

There is no doubt that in him NLC could be said to have made a right choice .

How he emerged

The new General Secretary who is the first person from the South-East to be appointed in the plumb job, came top among three other candidates after pain taking interview from conducted by an eight-man committee known as NLC Establishment Committee chaired by a deputy president of Congress, and current President of Nigeria Union of Teachers, Dr Mohammad Nasir Idris, with the outgoing General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Ezon, as Secretary.

Vanguard gathered that among other members of the committee were the President of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, President of    Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, General Secretary of National Union of Civil Engineering Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers, NUCECFWW, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, MHWUN.

It was gathered that the committee after interviewing the candidates based on the Curriculum Vitae earlier submitted, drilled them on their knowledge of the movement, local and international affairs, among others.

It was gathered that Ugboaja secored, 83 mark, while Upah, Uyot and Rotimit secored 53, 53 and 42 respectively.

Vanguard Media wishes Ugboaja a very fruitful and rewarding tenure.

Past NLC General Secretaries

Since the emergence of the modern day NLC in 1978, four distinguished Nigerians had occupied the exalted position of the NLC Secretary.

They include Comrade Aliyu Dangiwa, from 1978 to 1986; Dr. Lasisi Osunde, from 1986 to 1992; Comrade John Odah, from 2001 to  2011, and Dr.  Peter Ozo-Eson, the outgoing General Secretary, from 2014 to 2019.

It should be noted that Comrade Odah acted for some years before his confirmation as substantive General Secretary. While Comrades Owei Lakemfa and Chris Uyot also acted before the appointment of Dr. Ozo-Eson.

For Comrade Bello, those that contested against him were Maureen Onyia and Rita Goyit, two of the most vibrant and experienced female unionists in Nigeria Labour movement.

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It was gathered that Bello scored 86 mark to come top.

Comrade Bello, born on September 3, 1965, is a 1988 graduate of Sociology from the University of Ibadan, and presently a Deputy General Secretary, Education and Research and Industrial Relations, National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN

Bello who also holds a Masters Degree in Sociology from the University of Jos, and Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, is also the Secretary IndustriALL Global Union, Nigeria Council.

He has also held such positions as State Secretary of NLC, Lagos State Council, from 2003 to 2011, Project Manager, NUTGTWN/NACA World Bank supported project on HIV/AIDS 2006, and Project Manager, NUTGTWN/NACA/AED-SMARTWORK Workplace HIV/AID project, from 2008 to 2011.

Vanguard wishes Comrade Bello well as he joins NLC to serve Nigerian workers and citizens better.


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