NLC Gives Governor Otti 14-Day Ultimatum to Restore Elected Abia NULGE Officials

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has issued a 14-day ultimatum to Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, demanding the restoration of elected officials of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in the state.

The NLC also called on Governor Otti to instruct the officers who have taken over the NULGE secretariat in Umuahia illegally to vacate immediately and publicly recognize the elected union officials as the legitimate representatives of NULGE in the state.

Additionally, the NLC urged the Governor to release all withheld check-off dues owed to NULGE, which have not been paid since he assumed office, and to pay appropriate interest on the total amount.

The dispute arose after the national leadership of NULGE conducted an election on May 22, 2023, which produced Comrade Ikechi Nwaigwe as the state president of the union and 10 other executive members. Despite their swearing-in by the national leadership on September 27, 2023, the state government refused to recognize these elected NULGE officials, claiming that the election did not follow due process.

In response, the government appointed a caretaker committee to oversee NULGE’s affairs in the state and to conduct a new election within three months.

The NLC, in a letter addressed to Governor Otti and signed by its National President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, expressed concern about the dissolution of the elected NULGE officials and the punitive transfer of Comrade Ikechi Nwaigwe from the local government service to the state civil service. The NLC emphasized the independence of trade unions as stipulated in the Nigerian constitution and international labor laws, which prohibit state government interference in trade union leadership.

The NLC demanded the following actions from the Abia State government within two weeks to avoid further consequences: recognition of the dissolved NULGE Administrative State Council as the legitimate leadership of NULGE in Abia State, the release of withheld check-off dues with interest, the vacation of the NULGE secretariat by state officers, the reversal of Comrade Ikechi Nwaigwe’s transfer, and an end to threats and harassment of trade union leaders and workers in the state.

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