A former President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, has stated that the Labour Party was formed by the NLC as a platform for members of the union to exercise and defend their rights.

Wabba made the statement on Thursday during an interview on the Channels Television programme, Politics Today, where he addressed the crisis between the union and the party.

In a letter dated Tuesday, March 19, 2024, the NLC had instructed state councils and political commissions to picket Labour Party secretariats across the country, following a virtual meeting of the NLC National Political Commission and the leadership of the NLC State Councils and State Political Committees.

The PUNCH also reported that the NLC on Wednesday, stormed the party’s national secretariat, to protest the LP’s national convention planned for the end of the month, and to demand the sacking of the National Chairman, Julius Abure.

Addressing these issues, the former NLC president clarified that the party belonged to the NLC, in line with the major objective of the labour union.

He said, “First and foremost, the Labour Party was formed by the NLC, in the realisation of a clear objective in the Constitution of the NLC. Under Article 3 and Item 1, the major objective of the NLC is to promote, defend and advance the economic, political, and social rights and well-being of Nigerian workers and pensioners.

“We own the Labour Party; it was formed under the leadership of Pascal Bafyau, as Party for Social Democracy. Under Adams, organs decided to change the name to the Labour Party, and the first chairman was S.O.Z Ejiofor who later handed over to Dan Anyanwu.

“So, the essence of forming the party is to make sure that workers, pensioners, farmers, can be able to have a platform to exercise their rights, which is enshrined in Section 40 of the Constitution. The party was formed by NLC, and registered by NLC. It’s like you built a house, you got a C-of-O, then you rented the apartment, so you must have an interest in how the property is managed.”

Wabba also explained that the basis of the dispute between the NLC and the LP was that the party had not honoured the contents of a consent agreement brokered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, and signed in June 2022, in which both parties agreed to the inauguration of a Board of Trustee, to be headed by the pioneer chairman of the party, and the conduct of a national convention.

According to him, these informed the decision of the NLC to picket secretariats of the party, to “draw the attention” of the LP “to respect the sanctity of the June 27, 2022, agreement, brokered by INEC”.

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