…As exco members hand over without election
By Adeola Badru
CRISIS may brew in the Oyo State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) as the executive members handed over power without conducting an election.
The executive members, led by the state Deputy President, Comrade Adedokun Moshood, said the decision to relinquish power to the union’s state Secretary without an election was premised on the understanding that the tenure of 9-man state executive council expires on Monday, 18th, May 2020.
Flanked by six other members of the executive in addressing the press after the conclusion of the valedictory meeting of the 2013 elected state officers at the State Headquarters of the Union, Challenge, Ibadan, Adedokun accused the state President, Comrade Bayo Titilola-Sodo of planning to hold on to power until his retirement from service, later in the year.
According to him, the outgoing executive came to power on December 12th, 2013 and enjoyed another “controversial two-year tenure elongation” occasioned by the resolution from a Special National Delegate Conference held in Akure, Ondo State in 2016.
He added that their tenure would be remembered for the botched 7th state delegate conference held in Saki in 2019 which was halted by the Ibadan Division of the National Industrial Court, by restraining the President from conducting the conference.
Adedokun noted that a three-month extension in line with the union’s constitution was however granted by the court to conduct another election but which would have led to the termination of the tenure by March 2020.
“From calculations, the three months extension should have expired on the 13th March 2020 but in observance of the pending case in NIC, Ibadan Judicial Division, which was not vacated until 19th February 2020, though registered on 17th December 2019, we were therefore constrained legally to recognise the 19th, February 2019 as the commencement of the three months extension. By implication, our three months extension expires on Monday, 18th May 2020,” Adedokun stated.
The aggrieved union member also accused the president of having “the support of the National President, the national secretariat of the union and particularly one most senior local government officials at the Service headquarters, Ibadan” which is making him hold on to power against the spirit of the Unions constitution.
When contacted, Titilayo-Sodo attributed his continued stay in office to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
He said: “We in the state executive of the union have, so far, enjoyed tenure elongation as a result of the outbreak of the pandemic that is ravaging the world. As you also know, there is a ban on a large gathering of people.”
“There has to be a delegate conference that will midwife the process of emergence of new executive council members at the state level. Those who are meeting to call for my exit and asking that a conference must convene are merely up to make personal mischief against me.”