Some partners of organised labour movement in the civil society space, especially on rights to safe, affordable, potable public water, education, health and stable electricity, among other public utilities, have congratulated the newly elected National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, saying his era will witness a vibrant leadership in the country’s labour movement.
Represented by the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), they said Comrade Ajaero’s emergence as the National President of the NLC, is a welcome development and an opportunity to further advance collaboration for labour and civil society causes in Nigeria.
Ajaero, who takes over from Wabba Ayuba from his position as former General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), emerged National President of NLC on consensus votes at the 13th NLC national delegates’ conference in Abuja on February 7, 2022.
In his acceptance speech, Ajaero said his team will pursue the welfare, interest and desires of workers and Nigerians just as he pledged to speak for the millions of Nigerians to lift them out of the abject poverty bad leadership had reduced them to.
In a statement issued and made available to newsmen in Lagos by CAPPA Director of Programmes, Philip Jakpor the group said the rancour-free election, which produced the new NLC President should be a model of how transitions should occur, even as it said the quest to salvage Nigeria from the grip of corporate powers and their state collaborators must be a collective fight with labour and civil society at the forefront.
Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi said: “Comrade Ajaero’s victory is well deserved. We are conscious of his struggles for the rights of workers and the Nigerian people, including his resolute stance against privatisation of the power sector and other crucial sectors of the nation’s economy.”
Oluwafemi said the civil society community believe that with Ajaero on the saddle, the NLC will regain its pride of place as the voice of helpless, oppressed and economically traumatised Nigerian workers.
“We align with Ajaero’s vision, which he listed to include pursuing a new national minimum wage law that will take into consideration the objective reality of the socio-economic situation, settling of employer-workers disputes, and review of the privatisation policy on the electricity sector. We will also work with his team to fight water privatisation plans at the federal and state levels.
“The time is now ripe for labour and civil society to work together, shoulder to shoulder to rollback anti-people policies that have robbed Nigerians of their rights to decent work and pay and the partisanship that has factionalised the movement to confront state and corporate oppressors,” he added.
Other executives members elected along with Ajaero are Adewale Adeyanju (Deputy National President); Audu Amber (Deputy National president) and Kabiru Sani, also a Deputy National President.
Others are Ambali Olatunji (National Treasurer); Benjamin Anthony, (Vice President); Steve Okoro (Vice President); Michael Nnachi (Vice President); Olawole Sunday (Vice President); Marwan Adamu (Financial Secretary); Williams Akporeha (National Trustee), as well as Babatunde Olatunji, Mohammed Ibrahim and Haruna Ibrahim as internal auditors.
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