The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has described the emergence of Comrade Joe Ajaero as the national president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) as a welcome development and opportunity for labour and civil society collaboration in Nigeria to advance.
Ajaero, who takes over from Wabba Ayuba, is former general secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE). He emerged as national president on consensus vote at the 13th NLC national delegates conference which held in Abuja on February 7, 2022.
In his acceptance speech, Ajaero said his team will pursue the interest and desires of workers and Nigerians and promised he would speak for the millions of Nigerians and seek to lift them out of poverty.
CAPPA, in a statement issued in Lagos, said the rancour-free election which produced the new NLC president is a model of how transitions should occur, even as the group said that the quest to salvage Nigeria from the grip of corporate powers and their state collaborators must be collective with labour and civil society at the fore.
CAPPA Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi said: “Comrade Ajaero’s victory is well deserved. We are conscious of his struggles for the rights of workers and the Nigerian people, including his resolute stance against privatization of the power sector and other crucial sectors of the economy”.
Oluwafemi said that the civil society community believe that with Ajaero on the saddle the NLC will regain its pride of place as the voice of helpless workers and oppressed and economically traumatized Nigerians.
“We align with Ajaero’s vision which he listed to include pursuing a new national minimum wage law that will take into consideration the objective reality of the socio-economic situation, settling of employer-workers disputes, and review of the privatisation policy on the electricity sector. We will also work with his team to fight water privatisation plans at federal and state level”.
He said that “the time is now ripe for labour and civil society to work together, shoulder to shoulder to rollback anti-people policies that have robbed Nigerians of their rights to decent work and pay and the partisanship that has factionalized the movement to confront state and corporate oppressors”.
Executives elected along with the new NLC president are Adewale Adeyanju, deputy national president; Audu Amber, deputy national president; Kabiru Sani, also a deputy national president.
Others are Ambali Olatunji, national treasurer; Benjamin Anthony, vice-president; Steve Okoro, vice-president; Michael Nnachi, vice-president; Olawole Sunday, vice-president; Marwan Adamu, financial secretary; Williams Akporeha, national trustee; and Babatunde Olatunji, Mohammed Ibrahim and Haruna Ibrahim as internal auditors.