The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) handed a 14-day ultimatum to Abia governor, Dr. Alex Otti, on Monday to restore the elected officials of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in the state.
The Union has also called on Otti to direct its officers, who had illegally taken over the NULGE secretariat in Umuahia, to vacate without delay.
NLC has further asked the Abia governor to make a public statement recognizing the elected union officials as the authentic NULGE officials in the state.
Otti has been urged by the Labour Union to release all withheld check-off dues accruing to NULGE which has not been paid to the union since he assumed office on May 29, 2023 and pay appropriate interest on the total sum.
The national leadership of the NULGE conducted an election for the Abia chapter of the union on May 22, 2023.
The election produced Comrade Ikechi Nwaigwe, as the state president of the union and ten other persons as executive members.
The elected officials were thereafter sworn in to office on September 27, 2023, by the national leadership of the NULGE.
However, the state government led by Otti failed to accept the elected NULGE officials, insisting that the election was illegal and did not follow due process.
The Otti-led administration had further set up a caretaker committee to oversee the affairs of NULGE in Abia State and conduct another election within three months.
In a letter signed by the National President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, and addressed to Governor Otti, the NLC expressed deep worry about a report it got from the national leadership of NULGE over the illegal dissolution of its elected officials and the appointment of a caretaker committee by the Abia state government.
Ajaero also condemned in totality what the NLC described as the punitive transfer of the elected state president of Abia NULGE, Comrade Nwaigwe, from the local government service to the state civil service.
“NLC is deeply concerned about a report communicated by the national leadership of NULGE concerning the illegal dissolution of the State Administrative Council and appointment of an illegal caretaker committee by the Abia state government,” Ajaero said.
“We demand that the Abia State government should make a public statement recognizing the purportedly dissolved NULGE Administrative State Council as the only leadership of NULGE officials in Abia State.
“That the state government should reverse the punitive redeployment of Comrade Ikechi Nwaigwe, the duly elected state president of Abia NULGE, from the local government service to the state civil service.
“That the cessation of deployment of threats and the Abia state security outfit to cajole and harass trade union leaders, especially the duly elected NULGE officials and workers in Abia State.
“We look forward to your addressing these issues within two weeks to avoid the consequences of a sure-footed response from the Nigerian working people.”