EVEREST EZIHE, Owerri
The recent interim injunction order given by Owerri High Court restraining Dr Richard Eze led Imo State chapter of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) not to parade themselves as leaders of the union in Imo State has been described as a rape on labour law by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the President Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
Wabba made this declaration on Wednesday while addressing leaders of Imo State Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) with five other top notchers of the national union at the front gate of the state congress sealed Secretariat in New Owerri.
According to him” yesterday i was at Imo State NULGE Secretariat to interface with them after hearing about the frosty relationship,i interacted with Imo State Government officials who assured me that this morning somebody will be there to equally unlocked the NULGE State Secretariat.
I learnt that they went to the black market or High Court to obtain an interim restriction order, even a lay man in Nigeria knows that both States and Federal High Courts have no jurisdiction over labour matters, the exclusive juridiction is National Industrial Court, in which you can appeal for if you are not satisfied with their judgement. We have done these severally, the most recent is the case of the civil service union in which labour appealed and the case was set aside”he pointed out.
The President appealed to NULGE members in the state to remain strong, united and always draw the attention of the national body to those issues that infringes on the trade union or workers rights.
He noted that the antics of the state government is merely trying to undermine the strength and unity of the trade unions in the state and the national leadership have vowed to take it on so that at the end of the day the workers are not exploited nor unjustly victimized.
Wabba further said that” am in Owerri, Imo State for the 2021 session of the National Labour Advisory Council and to see things for myself concerning labour activities in the state. We will strategized, it’s because of the national minimum wage issues that delayed my coming to Imo State earlier than now.
We will re-strategized, if the state government sees reason to change the scenerio and situation in the interest of labour, we are ready to go with them but if they cannot see any reason, i think this cannot be different from whatever interventions we have done in so many states of the federation because labour believes so much in dialogue and consultations, but were the diplomatic options failed, then confrontation have to be the devil’s alternative” he said.
Meanwhile, an Industrial Court sitting in Owerri has today (Wednesday) through a perpetual order of an injunction, quashed the interim order recently issued by Owerri High Court restraining Dr. Richard Eze led Imo State NULGE leadership from parading themselves as the state leaders of the union, thus reaffirming and authentically Eze’s democratically elected leadership.
Comrade Ayuba Wabba(M), the President Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) flanked by other labour leaders while addressing Imo State members of NLC at the front gate of the sealed NLC, Secretariat New Owerri. Photo by Everest Ezihe.