•As intra-union’s crisis in NUSDE degenerates
By Victor Ahiuma-Young
THE intra-union’s crisis rocking the National Union of Shops and Distributive Employees, NUSDE, has taken a new dimension, as the National Industrial Court, NIC, Lagos, Division, has annulled the union’s elections held last week and sacked all the purportedly elected leaders.
The NIC presided over by Justice R . H. Gwandu, had Thursday, 26th May , 2022 granted an interlocutory injunction restraining, NUSDE from conducting its National Delegates’ Conference, NIC, pending the determination of suit brought before it by five aggrieved members of the Union.
But in defiance of the order, the leadership of the union went ahead to hold the NDC in Asaba, Delta State.
However, when the matter came up for hearing on May 31, 2022, the trial Judge, Justice Gwandu decried the disobedience of the court order and declared the purported election null and void.
In other words, the NIC ordered that Innocent Jaja and Babatunde Suleiman should not parade themselves as President and General Secretary of the union respectively and adjourned further hearing of the case to June 21, 2022.
Recall that NUSDE became engulfed in intra-union crisis over alleged desperation by some individuals to perpetuate themselves in office.
Among others, the leadership was accused of flagrantly violating the Union’s constitution and running the Union like a personal business.
Two of the aggrieved Union’s members, Timothy Agboola and Michael Eferunu, lamented that, “We have voiced our opposition to these anomalies in the last four years but it fell on deaf ears. The Union is supposed to be the collective aspiration and interest of members (workers) but as we currently have it, the interest of a few cabals dominates and the union is in a total mess.”
They claimed that the President of the union, “is not a member of the union alongside some other so-called National Administrative Committee (NAC) leadership who have constituted themselves into a cult that decides the fate of the union. For anybody to be a leader, he or she must be a member of the union such that he or she must be an employee of a company that carries on business in the retail and distributive sector in Nigeria and must equally be a financial member.
“The president was a member of the union when he was in the employment of CFAO General Import Limited, a subsidiary of CFAO and it was on this basis he contested the post of the Vice-President of the union and won in 2008 but he has ceased to be a member of the union since 2010 after he was sacked by his employer (CFAO).
“Unfortunately, he carried on as the Vice President, thereabout, he became Deputy President and later emerged as the president in 2018 in a string of maneuvering and manipulations orchestrated and masterminded by the former president.”