NLC President declares Humphrey Nwafor-led Anambra NLC illegal, warns state govt
By Nwafor Okafor
The National headquarters of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has declared Anambra State splinter group of the congress led by one Humphrey Nwafor illegal.
It directed the group allegedly backed by the Anambra State Government to desist from causing a division among labour unions in the state, warning that those instigating the trouble in the state would pay dearly for it.
The president of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, who spoke through Benson Upah at a press conference in Awka on Wednesday said the only recognised NLC leadership in the state was the one led by Comrade Chinwe Orizu who took over from Comrade Jerry Nnubia following his retirement from the civil service.
Our Correspondent gathered that after the handover, another group in the NLC in the state led by Humphrey Nwafor
started laying claim to the leadership and urged the NLC headquarters to recognize it.
But sounding the note of warning to the splinter group on Wednesday, Wabba said: “There is only one Anambra Council chairman known to NLC and that person is Comrade Chinwe Orizu with whom we are well pleased.
“The NLC has written letters introducing her to the state government, the Commissioner of Police, the Director of Department of State Serviced, the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, and the Governor.
“We do not have two council chairpersons of NLC in Anambra State and there is no state where we have two NLC chairmen.
“I’m the only lawful person sent by the NLC to monitor the protest that did not hold eventually because it had been overtaken by events.
“Any other person claiming to be in this state to represent NLC should be reported to the national headquarters and the police.
“And as an addendum, whoever is promoting, instigating and sponsoring a split of NLC in Anambra State should stop it because in the final analysis, the person will pay dearly for it.
“If it is the state government, it will soon know what we can do because we cannot take it lying low”.
The NLC president condemned the refusal by some state governments to pay the new minimum wage, warning that such states should realise that they have no choice than to implement the law.
He added: “The national minimum wage issue is law and it became law by consensus. The governments of the federation, made up of the centre and the states, as well as the private sector and other strategic institutions, had a discussion and arrived at an implementable figure.
“That decision was not imposed on anybody. It was transited to the national assembly and became a law and the president signed it and now some state governors say they don’t have money to implement it.
“The N30,000 minimum wage is the baseline on which no employer should go below. The basis of the national minimum wage is to protect the poor and to avoid creating communities of the poor in the country.
“If there is no minimum wage, some states will pay as low as N5000. Often times some people mistake the concept of the national minimum wage. It is the base structure and states are not allowed to go below the national minimum wage. Even at that, what is the worth of N30,000 in Nigeria today.
“Governors that are not paying the minimum are hereby asked to pay. This is their last chance as we have given our state councils the go- ahead to protest and we will give them covering fire. We will mobilize to each state whose governor is not paying”.