Ahmed Labbo replaces Khaleel as new NULGE National President

• Promises to kick start process of transition

Following the shocking and unexpected death of the National President of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), the emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union has elected Comrade Ahmed Labbo, as the new National President.

Comrade Labbo, the former National Vice President, North West of NULGE was unanimously elected following a motion moved to that effect, seconded and supported by all the members at the emergency NEC meeting.

The emergency meeting was held in Kano, the home state of late Khaleel to honour the former NULGE president who was popularly called “Mr. Autonomy” for his struggle to liberate the local governments.

In his address, Comrade Labbo promised to commence the leadership transition process by organizing the union National Delegates’ Congress (NDC), which according to him was the last official task the late president was expected to perform before his death.

He said: “The new leadership shall kick start the process of transition without delay. This was perhaps the last official task expected of our late leader before his demise. Therefore we shall keep the flag flying. Also, the union’s activities will not be halted but will be on course.”

Also on the issue of staff welfare, the new NULGE president said: “The staff of the union should as a matter of fact be expecting a better and improved welfare package within and after the transition period. Issues of the minimum wage, staff pension and promotion shall be of great importance to us. This is because we hold our staff in high esteem since we see them as the engine room of our union.”

He described the death of Khalleel as a big shock and a great loss not only to the union but also the labour movement in Nigeria.

He said: “Our leader, during his lifetime was known as ‘Mr. Autonomy’. This is because he was always on the frontline of mobilizing the nation’s workforce at the grassroots to develop this tier of government for greater productivity and efficiency, while also ensuring the protection of workers’ rights and welfare.

“We acknowledge his unique contributions to the labour movement, governance at all levels and democracy issues, particularly his many years of constant and strong advocacy for Local Government Autonomy in Nigeria.

“Indeed, his demise is not only painful but has created a big vacuum. But as believers, we are not in doubt that the Almighty Allah knows the best.”

On his election, Comrade Labbo said: “I must have to confess that I am humbled by the fact that the National Executive Council (NEC) have chosen me to lead the union at a time like this. Though the responsibility is not an easy one but with your cooperation, the job will be made easy for me. Therefore, I urge you to join hands with me to move the union forward.

“We must focus on providing a better livelihood for all who are our members and staff as well as all those who shall be tomorrow. With this spirit guiding us, our challenges do not daunt us; rather they inspire us towards greatness in three key ways.”

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