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Conflict hinders election of Imo NLC as Nwansi, Ofoegbu battle for supremacy

Proposed elections for the Imo State chapter of the Nigerian Labor Congress, NLC, have been put on hold after disagreements and strife over an exercise scheduled to take place at the National Union Local Government Staff Headquarters in Owerri on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

The Mail Daily reported that the election official and some members of the national leaders who were present to watch the election marched for safety and announced the exercise was cancelled.

Speaking with the Imo State Interim Commission Chair, Rev. Dr. Nwansi Philip, he described the process as full of anomalies and commended the cancellation by the Election Officer, Ethics Office.

He said the State Executive Council Screening Committee disenfranchised eligible voters and candidates and disenfranchised them due to the lack of transparent vetting of delegates.

First, the screening committee formed by the State Executive Council failed to perform its work transparently and as expected. As of election time, the committee was still unwilling to tell Imo workers the state of affairs. As a result, there was an uproar, and thus the election officer called off the exercise.

“Let me further draw your attention to the fact that some members of the union, under the leadership of George Ofoegbo, have been stirring up conflict and taking power for themselves by encouraging our members to elect him as the new president.

They planned to remove some of the contestants by working with the screening committee. For example, as I am running for President, I can confirm that there was no pre-election vetting of a candidate. But to our surprise, we learned that the screening committee rejected some applicants. What a way to check!

“The NLC is a great organization that cannot afford to have its long-standing image damaged by a few individuals whose job it is to mislead the public and bring the organization to shame. It won’t happen, we promise.

I appreciate the Electoral College’s decision to cancel the ballot to calm the passions that were running high. I also appeal to the NLC’s national leadership to come to our aid and take the necessary steps to ensure that the Imo State National Assembly runs elections free of fraud and that strong CEOs are elected.”

As the elections did not take place, Nwansi who is also the Imo State Chair of the Nigerian Federation of Teachers, NUT, has insisted that he remains the state chair of the NLC even though the term of the interim commission is set to expire on March 7. , 2023.

He went on to say that the Imo state government has maintained its impartiality throughout the entire process and therefore cannot be held accountable for anything.

Responding to the annulment, Comrade Richards Eze, President of the National Union of Local Government Employees of Imo, said that he too had been disqualified as Vice President by the Screening Committee.

“I woke up a few days before the proposed elections to hear that the counting committee had disqualified me. And I ask on what grounds? Where and when was the show held? There is no written letter to disqualify my country. Everything was done only verbally.”

These are the things that have contributed to the situation we live in today. You are not disqualifying or disenfranchising eligible voters in this election. If you do so, you are stoking embers of discord among the members.

The main problem we have here in Imo is comrade George Ofoegbo who is arrogating power to himself as if he were the new president. He signaled once and told me he should disqualify me. “That’s funny,” he said.

Richards, who is serving as state auditor for the NLC, appealed to the national leadership to contact Comrade George Ofoegbo for peace.

When contacted, Ofoegbu boasted that he would win by a wide margin anytime the election was rescheduled.

He claimed that those who were excluded by the screening committee had recruited thugs to disrupt the exercise, stressing that the screening was done at the state NLC secretariat before the elections.

He also described the governor, Hope Uzodinma, as the amiable type who does not take sides in matters relating to unions or associations, calling on NLC workers in the state to remain firm and law-abiding.

Conflict hinders election of Imo NLC as Nwansi, Ofoegbu battle for supremacy

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