By Bimbola Oyesola and Laide Raheem, Abeokuta, [email protected]
The Ogun State chapter of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has warned the state government against recognising the new executive of the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
Members of the union had, penultimate Thursday, walked out of the seventh Triennial Delegate’s Conference of the TUC, Ogun State, after disagreements in the zoning of key elective positions, which signalled a fresh crisis in the leadership of the congress in the state.
In a letter to the state’s head of service, the leadership of the ASCSN said the union has dissociated itself forthwith from the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Ogun State Council, following the apparent reneging on the pre-election agreement entered into with other interests/affiliates of the congress on the constitution of the new state administrative council that had been due since February 2021.
The letter read, “Of note, of the unions/affiliates of the congress, only the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) posseses the legal instrument as a duly recognised and registered public service union with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, (Trades Union Act, 1976, amended 2004) whilst the two others: Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) and National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria (NACHPN) are on Observer Statuses of the congress.
“It is thus instructive to strongly advise the State government to exercise restraint from engaging with the Ogun State administrative council of the Trade Union Congress as composed, ultra vires, from the kangaroo selection that held on Thursday, August 19, 2021.
“Further, the interest and influence of the ASCSN is very paramount in securing those positions which all parties hitherto agreed to, and by extension, leading to the respect and protection of the core interest of the mainstream Senior Civil Servants of Ogun State within the labour movement.”
The state chairman of ASCSN, Isa Olude, while reacting to the development, told Daily Sun that members of the association walked out of the TUC election because the association felt cheated in the zoning arrangement.
ASCSN, which has the largest membership strength, is one of the eight associations that make up the TUC in Ogun.
Olude explained that the zoning agreement his association had with other members of TUC was allegedly altered some hours to the conference on Thursday.
According to Olude, members had earlier agreed that ASCSN would produce the chairmanship slot of TUC Women Commission, alongside other key offices.
However, he expressed displeasure that other members of the congress betrayed the senior civil servants by changing the arrangement and giving ASCSN the secretary of the commission without prior notice.
It was gathered that the selection of officers was done through consensus as elections could not be held due to COVID-19.
Speaking further, the Ogun ASCSN boss described the changing of agreed zoning arrangement as an embarrassment to the association’s integrity.
He said, “The arrangement was that since our association has been in charge of the leadership of TUC for quite some numbers of years, the other affiliate contacted us and asked that we should allow them to have a slot of the leadership.
“In the opinion of the association, there can’t be leadership without followership and no single union can do it alone. We agreed on the chairmanship of the women commission.
“It came as a surprise when our member was designate as the secretary to the commission instead of chairman, women commission.
“We are going to post our protest on the portal of the National Secretariat of the TUC, because the centre belongs to all of us and no individual, no particular union nor affiliate can claim the ownership of TUC.”
Reacting, the newly elected Chairman of TUC in the state, Akeem Lasisi, who came from ASUSS, however, denied any agreement.
Rather, he said there was realignment in the zoning of elective positions in the congress so as to accommodate demands of other associations.
Lasisi expressed readiness to have a round-table discussion with the aggrieved members of ASCSN.
He added, “If you are talking of the gentleman agreement we had, it was never an agreement.”