“When politics becomes toxic to trade unionism” | Guardian Nigeria News

Although all human beings are political animals and are allowed to exercise preferences in political competition, the politicization of public duties and responsibilities seems to give rise to some concerns.

The recent ordeal of the Chairman of the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), Joe Ahayero, has mixed his roles as a labor leader, an indigene of Imo State, and someone deemed sympathetic to the last Labor Party candidate. is attracting criticism. In the Imo State governorship election, Ahaero was more of a focus than a labor leader.

He was seen by the Imo state government as throwing his hat into the ring, and was treated as a political enemy by supporters and sympathizers of the governor, who is seeking re-election.

Jide Ojo, a public relations analyst, said there was a very wide line between activism, trade unionism and politics, stressing that most activists and trade unionists had partisan interests. .

He noted that the law does not prohibit union members from being partisan, but said labor leaders need to know where to draw the line. He argued that there was a need to properly define the relationship between trade unionism and politics in Nigeria because not all workers belonged to the Labor Party.

He said there is a belief that all Ajayero is currently doing is preparing the ground for his transformation from a labor leader to a political leader, a repeat of what Adams Oshiomhole did in Edo State. insisted.

On why Mr. Ahaero was interested in who will be inducted into the Imo State Council of the NLC, Mr. Ojo said: These are truths that not many people talk about. Uzodimma wants to do what he wants, and Ahaero wants to do what he wants. The problems that led to the assault on Ahaero did not start today, but in 2021. ”

He cited an example of Kogi State having the same problem of having ghost workers but the NLC did not protest. He argued that the fight should have been left to the NLC state legislature instead of Ahaero usurping such a role. He also questioned the timing of the protests, which came at the height of a politically charged and intense movement.

While condemning the assault on Ahaero, he questioned why he was targeted for sexual abuse.

“We all saw that footage. What remedial action should be taken? We know the identity of the person who sexually abused him, so the court is there to do justice. Explain to his lawyer. Why not file a lawsuit and claim damages?

“He has all the evidence. We’ve seen individuals and organizations take states and the federal government to court and win. If he’s not going to be partisan, then… It’s the best way. This happened one day. His name was mentioned and his identity was discovered.

“The one thing I take exception to is when Labor shut down the state, put the state in darkness and ground flights.

“You can’t be a trade union activist and say you won’t be harassed or sexually assaulted, because the forces you’re fighting against won’t sit back and shut up. He weighs his options and thinks the most You should have taken the sympathetic option. Nigerians are sympathetic and condemned this act. But I take exception to the fact that you have now declared a national strike. At this point, it is bigotry. “I feel it was politically motivated,” he explained.

Adewale Smut Oyelinde, Executive Director of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), said the context and framework of industrial relations, social partnership, trade unionism and tripartism is quite different from other forms of engagement, especially politics. He pointed out that it was a thing.

While acknowledging that Labor parties existed in many countries around the world, he said it was useful to note that the Labor Party was primarily a different organization from trade unions. He says that although there is an ideological connection, there is also a line between political activity and trade union activity.

“Given our level of development and limited operational understanding of the core fundamentals of industrial relations, mixing politics with trade unionism and employer activity in any guise is counterproductive; “This could fatally undermine what labor unions and employer federations are supposed to protect,” he said. .

Although he acknowledged that all Nigerians have a constitutional right to vote and be voted, he said such efforts should take place within the context of a political space separate from the industrial relations environment. Stated.

“The overall context and framework of all labor and industrial relations legislation and legislation in the world allows, inter alia, the social partners (employers and workers) to influence socio-economic policy issues that arise.” It’s carefully crafted to be (and actually defensible). Nowhere in any government announcement do you see active participation in politics being encouraged. Part of the reason is that political Actively being influenced by politics rather than influencing policy issues arising from it obscures the context of that relationship and undermines the long-standing principle of ‘social partnership’, which is one of the pillars of social partnership. This is because it may pose a threat to The ILO rests,” he added.

Mr. Aderemi Adegboyega, immediate past president of the Human Capital Practitioners Association of Nigeria (HuCaPAN), said issues leading to a strike must be strictly industrial disputes.

He pointed out that the strike was not aimed at violence, and said that while security agencies protect the rights of the people, the strike should be solely aimed at the withdrawal of military services.

While condemning the atrocities against Ahaero, he said the strike was not a criminal act but aimed at protecting the rights of citizens. He said that in the event of a strike, the government has the right to protect its citizens and those not participating in the strike.

Paul Omoiziado, a lawyer and labor expert, said the labor centers were abandoning workers at a time when they needed more domestic workers, especially when PMS pump prices soared. Ta. He said that as Nigerian workers and the masses are suffering from economic hardship, there is a need for workers to take action and go back to the drawing board.

Citing the Trade Union Law, Omojiade said that while political and economic issues are interconnected, the law prohibits trade unions from using trade union funds to fund political purposes. He said that

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