Physical combats took over the election of new executive officers to run the affairs of the Nigeria Labour Congress today. Election of officers is the climax of the 11th National Delegates Conference of the NLC which has been going on since Tuesday at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the venue of the event was thrown into confusion today as emotion rose. It was reported that delegates ran for dear lives as aggrieved contestants and their supports suddenly became violent.
They were said to have hijacked and destroyed ballot boxes even while voting was still underway.
It is not clear yet how the event, which had been peaceful since it began suddenly descended into crisis, but the election for the President of the Union had created tension among delegates and split them along partisan lines.
After the disruption, the police took over the venue and delegates were sent away, ostensibly to protect the facility from being vandalised.
Labour leaders have now reconvened at the NLC headquarters in the Central Business District of Abuja for a meeting, scheduled for 1 p.m., aimed at resolving the logjam.
Three candidates had put themselves forward to be elected as President Waheed Omar’s successor.
They are the General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees, Joe Ajaero; the National President of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Igwe Achese; and National President of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria Ayuba Wabba.
For the three deputy president positions, the Non Academic Staff Union is putting forward its General Secretary, Peter Adeyemi, while the General Secretary, National Union of Textiles, Issa Aremu, is contesting unopposed, along with the National President, Nigeria Civil Service Union, Kiri Mohammed. [myad]