THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Ekiti State have banned their former chairmen, Ayodeji Aluko and Kolawole Olaiya, respectively for 10 years for alleged illegal activities.
At a joint press conference addressed by the chairmen of NLC, Mr. Ade Adesanmi, and TUC, Adesoye Odunayo, on Monday, in reaction to the chasing out of workers from the state secretariat and calling for an indefinite strike, said the action of Aluko and Olaiya was “null and void.”
Adesanmi and Odunayo said the duo of ex-labour leaders had breached the laws of the unions , saying “the act of molestation and battery visited on the innocent workers at the state secretariat on Thursday, August 23, 2018, by the thugs led by the duo of Ayodeji Aluko and Kolawole Olaiya was barbaric, uncalled for and unexpected from responsible labour leaders.”
They said a joint session of Ekiti trade unions took the decision to ban them, on Monday, at a congress presided over by the NLC Chairman, Adesanmi and his counterpart in TUC, Odunayo, which they said was attended by representatives of all affiliated unions.
They said: “The illegal activities of the aforementioned ex-labour leaders acting under the guise of Ekiti Workers Rescue Team came to a climax on Thursday, August 23 when they gathered thugs and molested workers who were carrying out their legitimate and lawful duties.
“There is need to ask them whose interest were they protecting? because they didn’t act when workers were owed over eight-month salaries. They have never engaged the government to pay pensioners but they only woke up after the July 14 governorship election.
“Sometimes ago, an administrative panel was set up by the outgoing government of Governor Ayodele Fayose against Com Aluko and found him guilty of participating in electioneering in 2015, which was against public servant. It was the same unions that intervened and ensured that he was pardoned.
“It is no more news that Com. Aluko was promoted to the position of Director of Administration at the local government ahead of his seniors and the government looked at this and reverted him to the rightful position. It was clear that this ex-labour leader is aggrieved. But must he hide under non-payment of salary to get at the government?
“How could labour leaders gathered thugs and pronounced the entire labour structure dissolved. Were they State Executive Council of the labour unions? The two of them are not members of SEC, where now did they derive such powers.
“With their actions of recent, it is clear that they were only clearing coast for political appointments from the incoming government and not fighting the interest of workers.
“Following these, they are declared person-non-grata in labour circle and they are banned from labour activities for a period of ten years.”
The workers also passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of the two labour centres in the state and declared the dissolution pronouncement made during the Thursday’s action by the two former labour leaders as unconstitutional, null and void.
Olaiya and Aluko, had last Thursday, led a protest to the state secretariat where they announced the dissolution of the state executive of the two trade unions for alleged compromise and inability to declare indefinite strike over non-payment of salary.
They had also gone into some of the offices and chased out workers with sticks and cudgels, with the labour unions claiming that they led thugs to carry out the action.
Reacting to the ban, Olaiya described it as unconstitutional, insisting that Adesanmi and Odunayo had been proscribed from acting in their positions by workers having allegedly failed to fight for the right of those that voted them into office.