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NLC tackles Kogi governor over ASUU proscription

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The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Ayuba Wabba, said on Thursday that Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi had no power to proscribe union activities in Kogi.

‘‘Gov. Bello has no power to proscribe the union and such power does not reside with him or with the government house,” Wabba said in Lagos, during a visit of the NLC leadership to affiliate unions.

On July 19, Bello proscribed the Kogi State University Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), describing the activities of the union as illegal.

But, Wabba is contending that workers have fundamental human rights to join unions of their choices as enshrined in the Charters of the UN and ILO, to which Nigeria is signatory.

He said it was also the right of Nigerian workers to belong to any union of their choice as contained in Section 40 of Nigeria’s Constitution.

‘‘The constitution recognises that Bello is the governor.

‘‘It also recognises that there is a trade union which is not under the governor’s command. It is an independent entity that cannot be determined by the governor.’’

The labour leader told the governor to rescind his decision because he did not have the power to ban any union.

He argued that Bello, who had not paid lecturers of the state-owned university for one year, lacked the moral right to ban union activities in the state.

Wabba, however, advised workers to obtain their voter’s cards to enable them vote for leaders who would listen to their yearnings.