By Victor Ahiuma-Young & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday announced the confirmation of Emmanuel Ugboaja as its fifth General Secretary.
Recall that since the formation of the modern-day NLC in 1978, four persons had before now 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, from 2014 to 2019.
It should be noted that Odah acted for some years before his confirmation as substantive General Secretary.
Comrades Owei Lakemfa and Chris Uyot also acted before the appointment of Dr Ozo-Eson, who has just retired.
Confirmation of the appointment was contained in a statement titled, “Notification of the appointment of Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja as the new General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress” by the President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba yesterday.
A statement by Wabba said, “I write to notify you of the appointment of Comrade Emmanuel Okechukwu Ugboaja as the new General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). This follows the retirement of his predecessor, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, after years of meritorious service to the Congress.
“The appointment of Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja as the new General Secretary of the NLC follows the approval of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC at its regular meeting held in Kano, Kano State on August 21, 2019.
The appointment is with immediate effect.
“Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja is a 1987 Law graduate of the University of Calabar.”
In 1993, he became the first lawyer in Nigeria to work full time for a trade union when he joined the National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress. He rose through the ranks of the union to serve as the General Secretary from 2000 to 2005.
“Between 2006 and 2009, Comrade Emmanuel Okechukwu Ugboaja was appointed as the Coordinator, Advocacy and Mobilization of the Alliance for Credible Elections, a foremost Nigerian Civil Society Organization with focus on electoral matters.
“In 2005, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja was a delegate to the 2005 President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Political/Constitutional Reform Conference. He was also a delegate to the President Goodluck Jonathan Constitution Review Conference of 2014.”
“We urge you to extend your good hands of fellowship and goodwill to Comrade Emmanuel Okechukwu Ugboaja in his new position as the General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress.”