Rivers NLC Crisis: Unions Fault Itubo’s Second Term Bid

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)

The bid by the incumbent chairperson of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Rivers State Council, Commrade Beatrice Itubo, for second term in office has triggered off widespread criticisms from the affiliate unions.
In an interview with The Tide yesterday, in Port Harcourt, the unions called on the outgoing NLC boss to step aside for a more competent and qualified person.
The State Secretary, Administration of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Service Employees (AUPCTRE), Comrade Tobins Tamunoiminabo, said the move by Itubo to seek second term in office when she had retired from active service is against the labour law.
He said that even the recent labour guideline states clearly that the contestant must have spent four years in service to qualify for elective position, adding that the NLC chairperson’s desire to seek a second term “is an error,’’ he said.
“Labour movement in the state is dead and the workers are suffering, no promotion, increment or gratuity. We need somebody that will put things in order’’.
The chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, The Tide Chapel, Comrade Akujobi Amadi, felt that the chairperson should step aside, because according to him, under her first tenure, workers did not benefit.
“If she did not achieve anything when she was in active service, is it at the retirement level that she will achieve something for workers?
“Her claim of contesting under the pension union is neither here nor there because her check-off has not gotten to the union for once six months after her retirement’’, he said.
The Chairman noted that the NLC Joint Council has not been active in the state due to the nonchalant attitude of the labour leadership, insisting that there is an urgent need for the delegates to consider interest of the workers.
Another senior member of NLC who pleaded anonymity faulted the move by NLC chairperson, saying that Article 20 of NLC says, “if you are holding a position in NLC and retires, you should leave the position immediately.
“The fact that SEC allows her to finish her tenure does not guarantee her the right to seek for a second term which will set a bad precedence.
He noted that Adams Oshiomhole example, which Itubo relies on was an illegality and should not be allowed to continue.
In her contribution, Rivers State Women Committee Chairperson of AUPCTRE, Joy Tonye, expressed concern over the second term bid of Mrs Itubo, saying that she was not even qualified to contest for her first term bid because she did not meet the requirements of the NLC constitution which stipulated four years on active service prior to contest.