Christian Appolos | Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has tackled the Arewa Youth Assembly over its recent allegations that NLC was planning to scuttle the inauguration of the president-elect, Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
The Congress described the allegations as “a cheap blackmail intended to divert the attention of the leadership of the Congress from its obligation or mission to the people.”
According to a statement signed by NLC’s Head of Information and Public Affairs, Comrade Benson Upah, the congress said it is a pan-Nigerian organisation not governed by primordial sentiments such as ethnicity or religion, and would not waste its energy on a “phoney organisations in search of bread and butter.”
The statement read, “We wish to reiterate that the Nigeria Labour Congress is a pan-Nigerian organisation not governed by primordial sentiments such as ethnicity or religion. Moreover, Comrade Joe Ajaero has not employed anyone since he resumed office as president of the Congress neither has he accepted a gift of an SUV bullet-proof van from anyone.
“Ajaero is a law-abiding citizen and a stickler for the separation and expression of powers of which the judiciary is one. In light of this, he does not believe in intimidation of judges but nonetheless holds the view that corrupt judges should be put in their place.
“Neither Ajaero nor NLC has any plan to scuttle the inauguration of Senator Bola Tinubu. Those who make this allegation forget that Ajaero was among the first leaders of thought to advise aggrieved parties to go to court.
“More amusing is the allegation that Mr Peter Obi was invited to the commemoration of May Day to the exclusion of other presidential candidates. The records are there for all to see that all the candidates were invited. However, the right to honour this invitation resided with the invitees.
“It is childish and unreasonable for anyone reasonable acting reasonably to accuse Comrades Ajaero and Emmanuel Ugboaja of pursuing ethnic agenda at the congress let alone IPOB.
“The public pronouncements of Comrade Joe Ajaero and conduct have been in the fine traditions of the past leaders of the congress some of whom were even more fiery or combative. To therefore, label and profile him as an ethnicist is not only criminal but suggestive of fear of Ajaero in some quarters.
“However, those in mortal fear of Ajaero are the ones that constitute a threat to our national security for they are the ones with something to hide.
“In spite of their vitriol and blackmail, Ajaero will not back down but will continue to act, speak and lead the congress with fear of God and in line with the fine traditions of lawful and patriotic protest.
“He shall be doing so in consultation with his colleagues in leadership and partnership with civil society. Already initiatives are on to revive and strengthen LASCO a broad-based coalition between organised labour and civil society. Three conveners (Messrs Olisa Agbakoba and Nkoyo Toyo) have been working assiduously in pursuance of this. In the fullness of time, congress leadership will not only co-convene but co-chair.
“As for Arewa Youths Assembly, there are too many phoney organisations in search of bread and butter. They are floating character assassins waiting for hire for pittance.”
We will not waste our time on them except to point out that they have only succeeded in denigrating the name Arewa, which sadly has been franchised for pecuniary benefits.
“As for their promoters or sponsors, they are cowards with allegiance to nothing in life except their bottomless stomachs. We know why they did this – as a bargaining chip for appointments. We wish them good luck as life goes in full cycle/circle.”
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