Nigerian workers have no cause to fear over their wellbeing any longer as the new President of the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC, Mr Ayuba Wabba says they are in safe hands.
According to Voice of Nigeria, Mr Wabba gave the assurance in Abuja on Monday while assuming office as NLC’s President after Thursday’s rescheduled delegates’ conference of the Congress.
He also said he has extended a hand of fellowship to aggrieved members of the Congress who have threatened to convene another delegates’ conference next weekend.
Comrade Ayuba Wabba appealed to aggrieved members of the congress who lost out in the elections to put Nigerian workers and people first in whatever decisions they take.
Wabba defeated Joe Ajaero of the Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) by a declared result of 1,695 to 1,400 votes but Ajaero has since rejected the result, leading others who lost in conducting another election come Saturday.
The new president who held a maiden meeting with staff of the NLC at the Paschal Bafyau Labour House, Abuja, said he is going to “run an open door policy to regain the glory of Nigerian workers and people”.
Wabba, who also received leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in his office, said the NLC had survived many crises before and has time tested mechanisms for resolving internal conflicts to the benefit of Nigerian workers.
“We will reach out to them (aggrieved members); we will approach reconciliation with an open mind because we believe in the NLC constitution. Veterans were there throughout the process and can attest to the transparency of the process. We will continue to talk to them to tow the path of honour,” Wabba said.
On the plan by aggrieved members to conduct fresh elections, he said he cannot decide for anybody but he will be guided by the constitution of the NLC and the sanctity of the process that brought him to power.
Comrade Ayuba Wabba said only the National Executive Council (NEC) of NLC has the authority to convene delegates’ conference.
“Any other conference organised by any organ other than the one recognised by the union’s constitution is illegal as far as we are concerned,” Wabba said.
ENGAGING THE GOVERNMENT
He said under his leadership, NLC would engage the federal government on the current economic crises facing the country, noting that Labour shall present viable alternatives to the government with the view to reviving the dwindling economy.
“I know the task before us is enormous because of the challenge our economy is facing. Crude oil, our major source of income is dwindling and this is a matter of concern. The issue of casualisation is also something we would take head on ,” he said.
On the 18, 000 Naira national minimum wage, the NLC President said that organized labour will ensure that the national wage is revisited for a possible upward review as the current amount is “ no longer feasible in view of the present economic realities”.