NLC holds rally for Oshiomole despite police interference in Edo
A mild drama ensued prior to the rally called by the Nigerian Labour Congress to declare their support for Governor Adams Oshiomhle. The PDP had briefed the press yesterday calling the action by labour illegal.
The police claimed to be obeying a court injunction obtained by an opposition political party to prevent the rally from holding. Consequently Policemen with fierce looking dogs were at the Ogbemudia stadium apparently denying entry into the premises.
Comrade Oshiomhole when notified about this went and personally opened the doors to allow the labour members inside declaring that the Police should not intimidate people in their land.
Asked about the court injunction the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Chairman, Emmanuel Ademokun said he has not been served any injunction.
Adamokun, in his address however faulted the PDP, saying workers in the state, will in obedience to directive from its national leadership would do all it could to support Governor Oshiomhole’s second term aspiration.
He said, “Last week after we went round the 18 councils (LGAs) to sensitize workers, I heard it in television where one PDP leader (Urhoghide) said Comrade Adams Oshiomhloe gave us hundreds of millions. That is not true.
“We are all aware when the national leadership (NLC) came to the state last year, they called on labour to support Oshiomhole… so who am I to go against the directive of the national body. I am not going to campaign for a military man.
“They said a labour man cannot be a good governor, but we can now see the transformation in Edo State. Workers are happy, things are working; there are good roads, and even if there are few workers that are against the rally, majority are happy…. Over 99 per cent of workers are happy and in support of Oshiomhole.
“Workers contributed for the staging of the rally. The rally is not going to cost up to N3m, but we did not collect a dime from the governor. Only God can stop it from holding tomorrow (today). The national leadership is coming to support us.
“There is nothing in our labour law that says we use labour resources against labour. We can participate in politics but not contest. If you want to contest you resign three months ahead. This is a man that has been NLC leader for eight years.”
The spokesman of the Edo State Police Command also denied any knowledge of an injunction and that the Policemen were actually providing security for the event .
He said: “There was nothing of such. The presence of policemen was to maintain law and order.
“I cannot confirm if there was an injunction but wherever there is a gathering of such, we send policemen to maintain peace.”
However the PDP briefed the press subsequently condemning the rally and calling the State government names including one which lacks regard for the rule of law.
According State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mathew Uroghide, never in the history of the state has a ruling party railroad workers into supporting the government of the day at the polls.
He said, “The PDP was not established only to contest elections, but also to address issues that violate the rights of our (Edo) people. The state government under Adams Oshiomhole and the ACN is violating the rights of the people of the state.
“We are aware that government has directed organised labour to come out on the 22nd (March) to process in support of the candidacy of Oshiomhole. This is a violation of labour laws. We are aware that hundreds of millions of naira will be spent on the activity, and where is this resource coming from?
“It is the state government that is bankrolling it. We want to know where this was budgeted for in the 2012 state appropriation bill. This is acting in complicity and against all known labour laws. This is corruption and bastardization of standards in Edo State.”
“Prior to this time we all saw how the governor openly disgraced the same organized labour over legitimate demands they made, and which is yet to be implemented by the government, and now for a section of the same labour to go in open campaign for the same governor begs for answers.”