The quest for the incumbent NLC chairperson in Port Harcourt Beatrice ITUBO to go for second term in office is causing a crack in the Nigeria labour Congress as some affiliate union members have vowed to seek redress in court.
Some of the labour leader drawn from various Affiliated union accused the NLC chairperson of staying beyond her tenure, Belema Brown from medical and health union said ‘’I don’t think it’s right for Beatrice ITUBO to contest for that seat again, from our records she retired from service since October 2018, ordinarily she is supposed to step aside and allow some to preside or set up eleco committee to conduct this election coming up on the 25th of April.
They claim that NLC law does not permit a non-serving public servants to occupy the number one position Mike IYOWUNA from the amalgamated union of Public Corporation and Recreational services Employees (AUPCTRE) and ‘’said the labour law does not permit that and there is nowhere we can allow such a thing, since she took over the NLC chairmanship four years ago, the workers are worst off, no promotions, pensioners are suffering, we are stagnated, she should step aside and allow for a fresh elections, we have seen her best and we can’t take her into the future of NLC
Reacting to their claims the NLC chairperson Beatrice ITUBO told East West Reporters that she was retired last year and was re-employed by her affiliate union and urged other members who wish to contest for the NLC chairmanships to do so without causing trouble in the labour movement. ‘’ rivers state is not the state in Nigeria where Elections are conducted. Why must we be in the news all the time for the wrong reasons? There is a body saddled with the responsibilities of conducting this election, if they feel I have abridged the law, they should take it up with them, election of NLC is for staff and members, like Adams Oshiomole was a staff he was the general secretary of a union, He became NLC President, as I speak to you there are so many NLC presidents that secretary generals of their unions so it’s not a serious issue, it’s just that people are there pushing them, if you know you are not popular to win the election go home and relax and if you are popular, every eligible member of NLC is entitled to come out and contest. After the contest if I win I take, if I don’t win, I will congratulate the winner and we will continue to move.
‘’The important thing is that the labour movement will continue to move forward in this state. I want to advise them not to bring back what happened in 2015 again, everybody cannot be in a position at the same time, everybody has a time, if it’s not for you today, tomorrow it might be for you if you are destined to be there, so they should stop all this bickering, I am contesting that election come 25th of April 2019 and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, if the workers say no they will say that with their vote’’ she added
Meanwhile a human right lawyer Higher king has described the power tussle in the Nigeria labour Congress as embarrassing. He said public service rule does not permit a retired civil servant to hold the position of NLC chairman or president, he said ‘’ Generally and morally speaking there is nowhere a retired civil servant will come and contest election that is meant for serving civil servants because that position is for civil servants it didn’t say retired people.
Until I see the laws that permits such a thing, I can’t say conclusively but I am saying that generally speaking, I am not aware of any law that will permit that.
Retired people have their union, the person cannot be there and also being in public service union, I don’t think it’s right. Like I hear that MRS ITUBO said her union employed her if truly she was employed them it will be as an expatriate not as a staff, Expatriates are not supposed to hold sensitive positions of any country, they are there to impact their wealth of experience to such organisation and not go as far as contesting for the position that are meant for serving civil servants, I don’t think it’s legal’’