Festus Osifo elected TUC president amid controversy

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Festus Osifo has been elected as the new General Chairman of the Nigeria Trades Union Congress TUC.

Mr. Osifo was elected Wednesday in Abuja as the preferred candidate at the 12th Triennial Conference of National Delegates to the Congress.

The theme of the 2022 Conference: “The working class facing the challenges of national security, unemployment and democratic development”.

Mr. Osifo is expected to steer the business of the Labor Mall for the next three years.

He is also the National Chairman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

Shehu Mohammed, the returning officer, while announcing the results, said that a total of 728 delegates participated in the election.

Mr Mohammed said Mr Osifo secured 688 votes to defeat his opponent, Oyikan Olasanoe, who garnered 18 votes, while 22 votes were declared invalid.

Due to internal disputes, Wednesday’s election was held only for the position of General President.

It should also be recalled that Mr. Osifo took office as President of PENGASSAN on August 28, 2020 and was also, among other things, President of the PENGASSAN Producers Forum, between 2016 and 2018.

The new TUC President is a member of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), the Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN) and the Society for Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Osifo pledged to fight for the welfare of the masses as well as the protection of the interests of every Nigerian worker.

He praised past congressional leaders for laying “a strong foundation upon which the body grows and is committed to supporting the vision.

Mr Osifo also promised to lead everyone in his quest for a greater TUC while pledging to “launch a platform to appease all aggrieved comrades.

Earlier, Quadri Olaleye, former TUC president, in a farewell note praised all members for their support, while calling on the incumbent to secure peace so the union can move forward.

According to him, “I want to take this opportunity to remind you that the election in the trade union movement is not child’s play.

“There is never a loser, always remember we are comrades and an injury to one is an injury to all,” he said.

Also speaking, Dr Peace Obiajulu, the pioneer President of the TUC called on members of the trade union center to ensure that the election does not divide the unity of the workers.

She said organized workers must unite to use their numerical strength to redirect the cause of the working class in Nigeria in particular and, by extension, the country’s oppressed.

Some aggrieved TUC affiliates had previously written to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to prevent the planned conference of TUC delegates from taking place.

The affiliates also obtained a court order to prevent the conference from suspending the failed implementation of the agreement reached at the last conference on which the affiliate will produce the next chair of the work center.

Affiliates include Association of Petroleum and Gas Senior Executives of Nigeria (PENGASAN), Association of Senior Executives in Banking, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), among others.

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