…faction emerges, seeks FG’s intervention
The crisis in the National Union of Foods, Beverages and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), has taken another dimension, as its National President, Comrade Lateef Oyelekan has extended his tenure for another two years after 12 years in office, against a court injunction.
Aggrieved by his decision some members of the Union Monday broke into another faction led by the National Signing Trustee of NUFBTE, Comrade Peter Onoja, who said the split was necessary to end the illegality in the union, while awaiting resumption of the court from vacation to pursue the case.
Addressing newsmen as President of the faction, Onoja, who called on the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to help the food union end all forms of illegalities, said majority of its members were surprised a “kangaroo emergency meeting” was held on the night of August 20, from whence some members were suspended.
Although Onoja noted that NUFBTE’s constitution has no tenure limit, he, however, explained that the constitution emphasised that election must hold every four years to choose a new leadership.
In his words: “Now we have two factions in the house, I am the President of one of the factions. I am the former National Signing Trustee of the union. Our President has served four years as deputy president and now 12 years as president, making a total of 16 years.
“Our constitution has no tenure limit, you can contest as many times, but the constitution makes it clear that every four years, you must have elections. This year is our conference year and the president wanted to do an emergency delegates conference and the subject matter is only one agenda, tenure elongation. That he wants to elongate his tenure for two years.
“So, some of us feel bad that if the constitution says every four years you must hold election, even if you want to contest, hold election, if you win everybody will support you legitimately. But he refused; so we approached the National Industrial Court and on 19 August the National Industrial Court gave an interlocutory injunction that no emergency conference should hold until the determination of the case.”
But in his reaction, Comrade Mike Olarewaju, the Acting General Secretary of Comrade Oyenekan’s faction, insisted that leadership of the union was not properly served the court injunction.