By Victor Ahiuma-Young
A faction of the Federal Civil Service Pensioners Branch, FCSPB, of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP, has pleaded with the Federal Government to register it as an independent branch.
FCSPB National Chairman, Mr Omezi Sunday, said that the branch had unanimously decided to pull out of the NUP due to gross violation of the constitution of the union, among others.
According to him: “We are pulling out for four main reasons; firstly, if you look at the NUP Constitution, Rule six on organs of the union, we are not part of the organs of the union in line with its constitution. Secondly, NUP did not respect its constitution, which was amended without reporting to the Ministry of Labour and Employment and this is also against the Rule 57 of NUP Constitution. Thirdly, NUP did not add us in its recent Constitution Review Committee. Fourthly, the union also refused to obey the directives from the Ministry of Labour and Employment that said they should maintain status quo and should not dissolve our executives.
“So, with these four reasons we want to pull out and we are appealing to the Ministry of Labour and Employment to let us have a full-fledged registration because we cannot work with that type of union,”
Collaborating, FCSPB National Secretary, Mr Christian Azunna, informed that the major reason the branch pulled out of the NUP was due to high-handedness, saying: “Over time, we have made efforts to see that the matter is addressed. Unfortunately, the national secretariat of the NUP, which is rather manned by non-pensioners employees of the union, would not allow for dialogue.
“So, we have made efforts and written series of letters to the union without reply and most times the union waves it off with levity with the impression that we will not do anything,” he said.
Azunna, however, noted that the accrued one per cent check-off dues from the recent release of N70 million as payment of pension arrears to beneficiaries by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD, had yet to be paid to FCSP.
“But unfortunately, we have several affiliates under the umbrella of NUP amongst all the affiliates’ members; it is only the FCSP that they control its funds 100 per cent.
“Others collect from the source of payment and remit 100 per cent in accordance with the constitution of the union Rule 19, Section 7 which deals with the allocation of funds.
‘Our branch is supposed to get 55 per cent, NUP gets 35 per cent while 10 per cent goes to Nigeria Labour Congress as the overall body.
‘But still, the NUP appropriates our own funds and gives us only a token,” he added.
Mr Bunmi Ogunkolade, NUP’s Head of Information while reacting to the allegation said the executives of the branch were found wanting for anti-union activities.
“The people you refer to as federal civil service branch of NUP were the former members of the executive committee of that branch.
“However, during the last National Delegates’ Conference, NDE of the union on April 22, the entire executives were dissolved for anti-union activities by the NDC in session,” he said.