Crisis looms in Ogun State as Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), boycotted the 7th Triennial Delegate Conference of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) in the state.
The boycott aroused as a result of disagreement on the zoning of key elective positions initially said to have been agreed by the concerned members of the association and the union.
Disclosing this during media briefing held on Thursday in Abeokuta, Chairman of ASCSN, Ogun State chapter, Comrade Isa Olude revealed rationale behind the sudden boycott at the TUC congress.
The chairman of ASCSN, being the association with the largest membership strength among the eight associations that made up the TUC narrated that they boycotted the congress because they felt cheated in the zoning arrangement for elective positions
Olude confirmed that the agreement on zoning had with other members of TUC was allegedly altered some hours to the congress which did not augur well with his members.
He further explained that there was an agreement that the chairmanship slot of TUC women commission with other key offices would allotted to ASCSN, but other members of the union changed the agreement by allocating ASCSN the Secretary of the commission without prior notice.
He hereby described the act as an embarrassment to the association’s integrity. “The arrangement was that since our association has been in charge of the leadership of TUC for quite numbers of years, precisely 12 years, the other affiliate members contacted us and asked that we should allow them to have a slot of the leadership.
“In the opinion of the association, there can not be leadership without followership and no single union can do it alone. We agreed on the chairmanship of the women commission.
“It came to us as a surprise when the name of our member was read as the secretary to the commission instead of chairman.
“We are going to post our protest on the portal of the National Secretariat of the TUC informing them of the situation, because the center belongs to all of us and no individual, no particular union or affiliate can claim the ownership of TUC.”
The ASCSN chairman however said the association is open for discussion and agreement over the zoning. “We are not fighting; we will come back to the round table and agree on something. If they give us what we want, then we can work together as a team to benefit our members.
“The list circulated yesterday was not our earlier agreed list, hence we considered it necessary to walk out of the delegate conference. We are civil servants and we are together in struggle. There can not be deviations among us.
“All we want is to ensure that the position of chairmanship of women commission is given to our association.”
While responding to the ASCSN action, Comrade Akeem Lasisi, the newly elected Chairman of TUC stated that the purported agreement was never an agreement, noting that there was realignment in the zoning of elective positions in the union so as to accommodate demands of other associations.
Comrade Lasisi explained that the union zoned the chairmanship slot of the TUC women commission to another association because members of ASCSN had occupied the position more than six times.
He added that the disposition of elective positions was to ensure justice and equity for other union members, while he expressed readiness to have a round-table discussion with the aggrieved members of ASCSN.
“If you are talking of the gentleman agreement we had, it was never an agreement. In the case of the TUC chairperson; ASCSN has been holding this post since the creation of TUC women commission in the state. They have already spent almost six terms in this position.
“Even during the last administration, the association occupied the office of the chairperson TUC women commission and at the same time occupied chairman of TUC. You are now saying that you still want to continue as the chairperson TUC commission.
“I think what the association want to do is to pocket TUC in Ogun State council. How can you say you will not contest for chairman and continue to take secretary, treasurer and chairperson commission, is that possible.
“We will try to get in touch with them and try to settle, because in every election, there is usually some type of misunderstanding and this one of such. I want to appeal to them to come back to the fold.”