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It’s Unlawful, LP Faults NLC For Picketing Party Secretariats



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The National Working Committee of the Labour Party has faulted the nationwide picketing of its party secretariats by the Nigeria Labour Congress, describing it as an abuse of power.

The NLC had directed its members on Tuesday to mobilise workers and lay siege to LP secretariats across the country to protest the party’s national convention planned for March 27.

The circular jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the NLC Political Commission, Titus Amba, and Chris Uyot, also demanded the immediate resignation or sacking of the National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure, over the alleged ‘financial rascality and contempt of the union president, Joe Ajaero.’

Scores of protesting NLC members gathered at the LP national headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday, chanting solidarity songs and calling for the sacking of the party leadership.

They were, however, prevented from gaining access to the party secretariat by security operatives posted to the area to maintain order.

Reacting in an exclusive phone chat with The PUNCH, the party’s National Youth Leader, Kennedy Ahanotu, expressed disappointment with the manner in which the NLC handled the situation.

While saying it is wrong for a movement that symbolises the masses’ struggle to picket a political party, the NWC member accused the NLC leadership of being partisan through their action.

He said, “Nigeria is a democratic and lawful country. Therefore, people should know the boundaries of the law. If the NLC feels it is their right and it is lawful to picket the Labour Party, it is fine. But if it is not lawful, they will face the consequences of the law.

“For crying out loud, there are workers’ issues to look into. There are issues of minimum wage, health, fuel removal crisis, and insecurity everywhere. The NLC is supposed to be concerned about the welfare of Nigerian workers, not picketing a political office.

“Let them continue to picket the party office and see where it leads them. They can’t stop the party from breathing. After the issue between the party and the NLC, it is not worth this kind of drama they are playing.

“There is a lot of power play going on, and it is not healthy for our generation. That level of power play cannot help a system that wants to be rejigged. Even if the NLC is the founder of the Labour Party, the party is an institution on its own and should be allowed to breathe.

“Again, the NLC should not show any sign of partisanship in terms of practical politics because they are supposed to be facing the government of the day. They are not even supposed to participate in political activities. It is something that should be done underground and not to be playing to the gallery in the manner they are doing.

“If they are accusing Abure, the chairman and secretary of the NLC Political Commission have been there for more than 15 years. Is that democratic? I am not comfortable with what is playing out here.”

The spokesman for the Labour Party Campaign Organisation, Yunusa Tanko, however, called for caution.

According to him, there is an ongoing effort at a stakeholders’ meeting in Asaba, Delta State capital, to resolve the rift between the NLC and the party leadership.

“We are working round the clock to resolve our differences with the NLC. You know they are part of us. There is an ongoing meeting of LP stakeholders, lawmakers, and others in Asaba to discuss it and other issues,” he said.

Efforts to reach the National Publicity Secretary of LP, Obiora Ifoh, were unsuccessful.

As of the time of filing this story, his line was unreachable.

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