A faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Restoration Group headed by Messrs Joe Ajaero, Issa Aremu and Igwe Achese, has insisted that the election which produced Mr. Ayuba Wabba as president was flawed, not transparent and therefore not credible.
It also announced that it would hold another delegates’ conference to elect NLC leaders on March 21, 2015 in Lagos.
Speaking with THISDAY in a telephone conversation yesterday, former vice-president of the NLC and contestant for the post of deputy president of the congress, Mr. Issa Aremu, listed several reasons why the group is insisting it would hold another conference.
He alleged that the counting of the ballot was deliberately dragged on for over 12 hours to allow for manipulation.
“If not, why do you need to take that long to count just a little over 3,000 votes? It is not true that there were no complaints, we complained about the outage, we complained about the former general secretary who was clearly partisan,” Aremu said.
He added that the period when the counting of votes was stopped for three hours was deliberate, to allow for manipulation.
Aremu added that some polling agents refused to sign the result sheets, thereby rendering them invalid, according to the NLC constitution.
The faction made up of 18 unions, in a communique at the end of an emergency meeting of its presidents and general secretaries on Saturday said there was flagrant disregard for rules and regulations in the rescheduled election, just like during the botched election of last month.
The communique said rules were changed midway into the election. “The credentials committee wrongly validated the ballot papers found in boxes not meant for the positions being contested, contrary to the rules. These ballot papers ought to have been invalidated,” it read.
“We have resolved to forge ahead under the banner of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). In line with the provision of the NLC Constitution, we are reconvening a special delegates’ conference come next Saturday March 21, 2015 in Lagos based on equal representation of affiliate unions.
“New members of the national administrative council of NLC will be elected
at the Special Delegates’ Conference as it was done in the past credible delegates’ conferences of NLC. A Conference Organizing Committee has therefore been duly constituted,” the statement read.
Reacting, the NLC insisted that the processes leading to the elections and the elections themselves were manifestly transparent, incontestable and unimpeachable.
In a statement, the NLC said all the contestants and their delegates had voluntarily lent and submitted themselves to the electioneering/voting process.
“At no time, from the commencement of the accreditation of delegates to the voting, counting of votes and announcement of results, was any complaint raised or lodged,” it read.
“Congress therefore finds it necessary to advise that individuals should resist the temptation to be used as agents of factionalisation or destabilization of the congress. The congress is bigger than any of us,” the NLC added.