Concerned Affiliates of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have cited fragrant disobedience of court orders by the Comrade Festus Osifo-led exco as reason for withholding support for the new leadership of the Congress.
They declared the purported National Delegates Conference of TUC which produced Osifo as President of Congress on Tuesday, July 19, 2022,a nullity and therefore, the products of the conference should not by any means be recognized as the leadership of TUC as the so called Delegates Conference contradicted all forms,rules and laws guiding the Congress Delegates Conferences.
The group also appealed to the Federal and state governments including employers of Labour not to recognize or have anything to do with the new leadership pending the determination of the substantive issues in court.
The chairman of the group, Comrade Emmanuel Jaja stated this at a press briefing at the ASSBIFI national secretariat on Wednesday in Lagos.
It will be recalled that the President of PENGASSAN, Comrade Festus Osifo emerged as President of the Congress in the election held on Tuesday, July19, at the International Conference Center, Abuja during the 12th Triennial National Delegates Conference of TUC.
Jaja who also doubles as the Deputy President of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) said : “It is most regrettable and disheartening that a labour center like ours (TUC) could deliberately desecrate the temple of justice by flagrantly disobeying it’s orders “.
He recalled that the National Industrial Court on Wednesday, July 6,2022 restrained TUC and it’s agents in the presence of TUC lawyers and that of PENGASSAN from conducting the Delegates Conference of the Congress pending the determination of the substantive issues in respect of the attempts by the same PENGASSAN who believed that their personal choice not to attend the 2019 Delegate Conference of the Center should render the unanimously agreed resolution of the Conference a nullity.
The group wondered what was so urgent to warrant TUC and PENGASSAN to disobey court orders.
He said :”The crux of the matter here, is the Trade Union Congress resolutions at its 11thTrennial National Delegates Conference held in 2019 where the Conference unanimously agreed that FOBTOB should produce the National President of the Congress from 2019 to 2022 while ASSBIFI should produce the President of the Congress from 2022 to 2025 and thereafter, the position of the Presidency shall be left open to any affiliate that wishes to contest the position of President”, stressing that the decision was reached at various organs of the Center, that is, the National Administrative Council (NAC), among others.
According to Jaja, the implementation of the resolutions commenced with FOBTOB which produced the President of the Congress as agreed in 2019 and by June 2022,he served out his tenure as per the resolution of the 2019 Delegates Conference and for ASSBIFI to produce the next President.
He noted that the only option left for this group was to seek the court interpretation of the Delegates Conference resolutions and as a responsible organization, the leadership of TUC should have waited to hear from the court rather than taking laws into their hands by disobeying court orders.
Reacting to Daily Champion inquiries on the matter, the national secretariat of TUC in terse and unsigned statement stated that :”They went to a court in Lagos and the process is on going. The election was done in the last TUC Delegates Conference in accordance with the court order from Abuja NIC that said we should follow our Constitution.
“A quorum was formed at the NDC and the process was seamless. A minority can not lord their will over the majority.
“They went to court in Lagos because they have faith in the process. They should kindly exercise patience and wait for the final verdict”.