Akwa Ibom NULGE rejects suspension notice from national body

Anestina Iweh

The Akwa Ibom State president of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Mrs. Anestina Iweh has described the purported suspension slammed on her and two other executive members and three council area chairmen by the national secretariat of the union as an exercise in futility.

The National Secretary of NULGE, Chukwuemeka Aguonye had in his letter of April 27, 2017 suspended Iweh and two other officials as well as three branch chairmen of the union in the state indefinitely, citing anti-union activities.

But reacting to the purported suspension, Iweh, who until recently was the deputy state president of the Union but became president following the deployment of the erstwhile president, Martin Effiong told journalists in Uyo that the national executive council of the union had no powers whatsoever to suspend any member of the union in the state.

Those affected in the said suspension are: comrades Anestina Iweh, Owoanam Akpanwa and Kingsley Akpan, as well as the branch chairmen; comrades Imoh Udoeyop, Ibesikpo-Asutan local government, Aniekan Ntia, Esit Eket local government and Monday Abak, Ukanafun local government area.

“The suspension makes no meaning to me. As far as this state is concerned, nobody at the national level can suspend us. We could only be suspended after the state executive council had met and resolved that we should no longer lead them.

“It is the state branch that would send our suspension letter to the national body declaring that they don’t want us again. The work of the national union is to ratify what the state had done. They don’t have any right at the national level to suspend us at a NEC meeting.

“When the former president was deployed to the state civil service and there were some misunderstanding, the national union sent a fact-finding committee to the state but up till today, we have not seen the report of the committee and they are suspending us on what grounds? Let them state the anti-union activities for the whole world hear,” she said.

She said the deployment of the former state president was the decision of the state government, which the union had no hand in and that she had since assumed office as the new president, which the national president cannot do anything about.

She threatened not to remit any kobo to the national body since they still listen to the former president who had since been redeployed to the state civil service.

Imeh stated that the colossal debts owed local government pensioners in the state was not the fault of the state but that of the previous NULGE executive and heads of local government service.

She however, alleged that the old executives used to connive with the local government chairmen to share funds allocated by the state government to their respective councils, while leaving the retired workers to wallow in distress.

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