Botched NLC election: Maritime workers demand thorough investigation

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has described as unacceptable and a big embarrassment, the circumstances that led to the botched election of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja last Thursday.

In a statement issued weekend by the President-General of MWUN, Comrade Emmanuel Tony Nted, the union demanded for a thorough investigation into the alleged printing of multiple ballot papers with different serial numbers among others.

Nted, a Vice President of NLC in the outgoing executive and who only returned to the country on Friday, a day after the fiasco, insisted that all those who directly and indirectly caused the ballot papers problems must be severely punished to serve as deterrent to others.

It would be recalled that the 11th National Delegates Congress of NLC which commenced on Monday, February 9, 2015, was aborted on Thursday morning during voting to elect a new set of leaders to run the affairs of the Congress for the next four years because of alleged multiple voting, multiple ballot papers with some candidates names appearing two or three times, while some candidates’ names did not appear in some of the ballot papers.

Election fraught with alleged multiple voting, multiple ballot papers

There were also allegations that in some ballot papers, where one of the presidential candidates’ name appeared, there was no serial number among other anomalies.

According to the MWUN President-General, “What happened on Thursday was very sad, a shame and a big embarrassment. I was not in the country during the conference, as I came in on Friday, I was briefed and I felt very bad. This is foreign in labour movement. I do not want to believe it was done because of desperation for power. I was even told that some unions brought only delegates from a section of the country. What sort of thing is that?

“Something is definitely wrong. We call for thorough investigation into this matter. Those responsible for the printing of those ballot papers must not go unpunished. They should be brought to book and they must face severe sanctions. If they are secretariat staff, they should be dismissed and prosecuted.

“And if they are labour leaders, they should be expelled from NLC for giving labour a bad name. We are supposed to be a watchdog to the society, fighting for the oppressed and upholding truth and justice. No, no, this is unacceptable; it is embarrassing and a show of shame. It must not be swept under the carpet.”

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