Elections for the national officers of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is currently underway in Abuja under tight security following threats of disruption by some workers who alleged that delegates from the South-east and South-south were marginalised.
Security agents with sniffer dogs from the Nigerian Police and Civil Defence Corps were on ground to ensure orderliness in and around the Eagle Square venue of the reconvened 11th delegate conference.
Access into the venue was restricted only to duly accredited media, delegates and officials after a thorough screening process where even cigarettes and lighters were taken away from all those who had them.
THISDAY checks revealed that the Chairman of the Credentials Committee for the elections and President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Nasir Fagge, counted the delegates from each union as they walked into Eagle Square.
The president of one of the unions, who spoke with THISDAY off record, lamented that the power tussle had to degenerate to a situation where the labour movement has to hold elections under such tight security.
“We took it for granted the last time, that even though there are grumblings, there would be no trouble. We are workers, we should always do things in an easy manner, elections have never been a do-or-die thing for us,” he said.
The General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Esan, speaking at the opening ceremony read out the procedures for the conduct of the election, which was yet to commence as at 5.15p.m.
The contenders for the National President of the NLC are Ayuba Wabba (Chairman, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria) and Joe Ajaero (General Secretary, National Union of Electricity Employees).
Major contenders for deputy president include Issa Aremu (General Secretary, National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria and outgoing Vice-President of NLC), Najeem Yasin (National President, National Union of Road Transport Workers) and Igwe Achese (National President, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas).