Monday, June 13, 2016
Leadership Tussle:Union Leaders Demand For Elections
* Seek Due Democratic Electoral Process, Government Intervention
Okonta Emeka Okelum, Asaba
Local Branch Chairmen and secretaries of the Union of Tippers and Quarry Employers of Nigeria (UTQEN), Delta State Chapter, has demanded for elections into state exco offices of the union.
Addressing newsmen at Asaba, the union's acting secretary, comrade Chime O Kingsley, lamented the union's stagnated leadership status in the past twelve years.
The union's leaders from seventeen local government areas of the state, staged a peaceful protest on Monday, this week, demanding an end to the union's zero democratic change of leadership through free and fair elections.
In a protest statement made available to journalists, read in part, "prior to 2013, the union was only an association before becoming a union, with zero elections conducted.
The protesting union Leaders observed that membership into the union is open to only to Tipper drivers, quarry and tipper owners.
They seized the occasion to discredit the needless distraction the union suffer from one Mr Kanayo Enemuoh, whose past leadership through (non electoral means) appointment as State Chairman, they lamented bred anti union agenda, activities and tendencies.
Prior to the acting chairmanship of Comrade Dumebi Eluaka, the Mr. Kanayo Enemuoh led exco operated without a state office, demonstrated zero accountability to members and national leaders, operated only from Asaba, the protest statement read.
According to a memo from the trade union services and industrial relations department of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, dated 16th October, 2014, directed the union on how to end the leadership tussle rocking it.
On Mr Enemuoh's suspension by the union's national executive, the ministry ruled that the union's national executive retains the option to pursue a disciplinary action against any state Chairman in accordance to due process and as stipulated in the union's constitution.
Fielding reports from our reporter, Comrade Ndidi Okoagbor, Ika South Branch Chairman, observed that they support Ministry of Labour and Productivity's directive that a state exco election be conducted by the union's national executive for the state chapter.
We resist in strong terms all attempts by Mr Kanayo Enemuoh to perpetuate himself in power without getting same through free and fair elections.
Chief Comrade Moses Ukuedojor, Ughelli North branch Chairman, noted that they support that there must be a state exco election in Delta State chapter of the union.
The union's leaders during the peaceful protest sought the attention of federal and state government functionaries and agencies.
As law abiding citizens, we seek and promote peace, all we want is a free and fair elections, so that qualified and pro-people leadership will emerge, Chief Comrade Ukuedojor observed.
The federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity's memo instructed that the union's national leadership should conduct an election into state exco offices of the union, in six months, after releasing the memo in October 2014.
The election will affect all positions in the state exco offices and must be witnessed by the presence of the Register of Trade Union, without which the election becomes null and void, the memo read in part.
Based on the above provisions, the union's branch chairmen and secretaries in good faith and commitment to purposeful leadership, support for democratic ideals, demanded for free and fair elections into the union's state executive offices.
In a related development, Comrade Ifeanyi Obi, Delta State Chapter chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) noted that UTQEN has come to stay as a trade union and must fulfil her mission and mandate.
We maintain sound working relationship with UTQEN.
The leadership tussle bedevilling the union can only be solved by a well conducted free and fair election, Comrade Ifeanyi Obi stressed.