A’Ibom NLC Crisis: `Ukpong Displaying Brazen Show Of Ingratitude`
There appears no end in sight for the crises of confidence on the leadership of the Akwa Ibom State council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as a faction of the congress has threatened to sue the Chairman, Comrade Etim Ukpong, over lack of accountability, reckless spending and lack of transparency in office.
The Vice Chairman 1 of the State labour group, Comrade Nsima Etukudoh, in a reaction to the alleged rejection of Christmas largesse by the apex labour movement in the state, said the report was false and baseless.
On the contrary, Mr Etukudo said Governor Emmanuel promptly sent bags of rice and a cow which the NLC had gladly collected and shared among its executive council members of about 72 in number.
“We appreciate Governor Udom Emmanuel for always being concerned about the welfare of workers in spite of the economic crisis in the country, and we are of the position that government should be encouraged as it has so far kept faith with its promises to our members,”
Mr Nsima accused Comrade Etim Ukpong of failing to render account of the donations made by Governor Emmanuel during the last Labour day celebration, failure to always reveal several government largesse before the State Administrative Council (SAC) and the State Executive Council (SEC), among other things.
“I was the chairman of the May Day planning committee (Labour Day 2016) and I know all that we expended and the support by the government and what the balance should be, but unfortunately the Chairman has failed to render this account before SAC and SEC, and the money has disappeared into thin air.”
The First Vice Chairman who described his purported suspension by NEC as illegal said, “the purported meeting took place in a bar and was not in line with the SEC regulations, didn’t meet a quorum and provided no internal mechanism of fair hearing for the affected members.”
“The said Comrade Iboro Abara who signed the release as Vice Chairman and Ag Secretary, is an impostor who had long exhausted his two terms as Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Akwa Ibom State University Branch and the management had also gone ahead to disband ASUP in the polytechnic. This means that he automatically is no longer qualified to be a member of the State Executive Council of NLC.”
Comrade Etukudo who was flanked by several members of the State Administrative Council members, also threatened to follow due process to ensure that those who are denting the reputation of the NLC, are brought to book.
“We are surprised that Comrade Ukpong could display such brazen show of ingratitude to a governor that listened to his appeal and assisted to build an Uyo residential apartment for him in less than a year, and we want to urge him to refrain from tarnishing the image of a formidable union he inherited from his predecessor.”
“We decided to intervene and help in sharing the goveernor’s largesse to forestall a repeat of what took place in May last year, and we are aware that our Chairman on his own has received some Christmas Hampers and other donations from the government which as usual, he has not declared.”
“We commend Governor Udom Emmanuel for his decision to use the proceeds of the Paris Club debt refund on the arreas of pension and gratuities of workers in the state, and urge him not to relent in always prioritizing the welfare of workers.”
Reacting to this, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour Matters, Comrade Unyime Usoro, urged the labour leadership in the state to close its ranks and ensure a speedy resolution of the crises which has smeared the image of the NLC in the state.
Usoro, the immediate past chairman of the Union, noted that the core mandate of the labour union is the welfare of its members, and appealed to the NLC management to focus on this mandate delivery.