By Kingsley Alozie, (Umuahia)
The leadership tussle of the Abia State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is yet to reach an achievable conclusion as aggrieved parties awaits fresh date for court sitting.
Comrade Uchenna Obigwe, the embattled chairman of the union gave his latest position on the matter while revealing the reason Workers Day celebration in Abia State wasn’t held at the supposed venue.
While hinting on the motive of his rival, Obigwe alleged that Eze Idima is been used to achieve selfish aim. Obigwe revealed that Idima is possibly party to those who sold the land given to NLC by Abia state government.
In his words: “Four portions of land was given to NLC during the tenure of Dr ACB Agbazuere in 2011, Certificate of Occupancy was given to NLC.
“In 2012, some group of people ganged up and sold the land for over twenty million naira. When I won the election in April 25, 2019, I have to recover the land and even invited the governor and NLC president for the ground breaking ceremony. We are already at the DPC level.
“Maybe those who ate that money, possibly one way or the other are paying back and they won’t be happy, they are the ones fighting me. I think they might be using him (Eze Idima) to achieve their aim.”
Comrade Eze Idima in a telephone interview denied the accusation and insisted that Obigwe shouldn’t occupy the office NLC office until the court sits.
His words: “Am so surprised to hear that, I don’t even know NLC has land until the day we were invited for the foundation ceremony.”
“When I was at NULGE I acquired land, NULGE has secretariat today, it’s courtesy of me. I don’t take bribe, how can I do that? Comrade Idima added.
Comrade Eze Idima took over office from Uchenna Obigwe on Wednesday at the Abia NLC office in Umuahia on February 25, 2021 after his succession was officially acknowledged by the National headquarters of NLC through a letter sent to the Abia state Labour Secretariat.
Idima was sworn into office with the attendance of other NLC leaders and members in the state.
But Comrade Obigwe’s removal was stop by a court injunction issued March 10, 2021 filed by him.
Obigwe maintained that Idima was defeated in the last NLC election, he reminded that NLC’s chairmanship position is achieved through election as the Union’s constitution states.
April 21, 2021 was fixed for the court to sit on the matter but due to ongoing strike by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), a date is yet to be fixed.
As regards the Workers day celebration, Candidreporters.com gathered that the venue was under lock and key which denied Union members and workers access to the venus in marking the workers day celebration.
Comrade Obigwe emphasized that as the valid NLC leader of Abia State, he approached Abia government and security agencies in the state on the need not hold the workers day celebration in the said venue. Comrade Obigwe however gave the reasons to security reasons and the Covid-19 wave.
His words: Abia state workers didn’t celebrate Workers Day because of covid-19 that is ravaging everywhere, we also considered the insecurity that we are witnessing in the south east, we felt that we shouldn’t hold the rally so that bad boys and bandits may not hide under the auspices of May Day and perpetrate Mayhem.
“That was why we wrote to the governor informing him that we intend to have the celebration in a low key. As the chief security of the state, he saw it as a wise decision.
“We equally informed the commissioner of police and DSS, we don’t want people to cause mayhem and labour will be accused, that was why we resolved to do it in a low key.”
Comrade Obigwe also disclosed that the workers day celebration was celebrated at the party’s Secretariat in a low key.
Candidreporters.com also gathered that some contracted person’s who were mouthing canopies and chairs at the supposed venue for workers day were arrested.
Comrade Obigwe however admitted that if arrest was made at the venue for the expected celebration, it might be done due to the information he gave to security operatives on the need not to hold the workers day celebration.
Comrade Obigwe however pleaded with Abia workers that “nobody should be distracted.
“Even in my May Day address, I told the governor to slow down on road construction and attend to stomach infrastructure.
“The governor has done so well, no governor has done better than governor Okezie Ikpeazu.”
“We have adviced him to slow down projects and pay outstanding salaries of workers and pensioners.” Comrade Obigwe added.