Days after threatening to disgrace labour leaders, the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has approved the reinstatement of the dismissed chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Ogun, Akeem Ambali, into the state’s local government service.
The reinstatement comes about a year after Mr Ambali was dismissed by the Ogun government for leading a workers protest.
Mr Ambali’s reinstatement was one of the reasons the national NLC leadership scheduled a protest march in Ogun on Tuesday.
However, the protest did not hold as the Ogun governor agreed to the workers’ demands.
The Head of Service in Ogun, Lanre Bisiriyu, disclosed the reinstatement in a statement issued in Abeokuta on Tuesday.
“Following the recent meetings held with the National and State Leadership of the organized Labour on Monday, 4th and Tuesday, 5th March 2019 led by the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and the withdrawal of the Court cases on the dismissal of Comrade Akeem Ambali from the Service, His Excellency, the Governor of the Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun CON, FCA has graciously approved his reinstatement into the State Local Government Service,” he said.
Mr Bisiriyu said the governor also approved the reinstatement of three education officers: Emmanuel Adegbenro, Emmanuel Asegbe and Oluwatobiloba Taylor, earlier dismissed as a result of their alleged misconduct in the 2014/2015 Unified Examination.
The reinstatement, he stated, is to take immediate effect, adding that “it is hoped that this magnanimity of government will further deepen the cordial relationship with the organised labour in the state.
“The state government wishes to thank all well-meaning Nigerians and the national leadership of the organised Labour on the resolution of the matter”, he concluded.
The President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, while answering questions from journalists after the meeting at the governor’s office in Abeokuta, said, “The governor has magnanimously asked that the sacked NLC chairman be reinstated and all other issues, including payment of outstanding gratuity, contributory pension scheme and Tai Solarin College of Education subventions have been amicably resolved.”
Mr Wabba commended the governor and ordered the cancellation of the planned protest. He asked the workers, who had converged in readiness for the protest, to return to work.
He enjoined the workers in the state to support the Amosun-led government.
Mr Amosun, who also addressed the press, described the disagreement with the labour as a communication gap, which has been bridged.
He thanked the national leadership of NLC for their doggedness and commitment to the cause of workers in the state.
Mr Amosun assured all workers in the state that he would clear all outstanding payments, saying, “I will not owe any worker any of their entitlement before I leave office.”
Mr Ambali, on his part, thanked the governor for accepting him back and urged workers in the state to support him.
Present at the meeting were the National Executive Council members of the NLC, the leadership of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC).
Before Tuesday’s reconciliation, Mr Amosun and the NLC national headquarters had been in a war of words over the planned protest. The governor threatened to disgrace the labour leaders if they come to Ogun. He accused them of playing politics with the protest set to hold days to the governorship election in the state.
Mr Amosun, a senator-elect of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, is supporting a different party for the governorship and state assembly elections in Ogun.