Executive members of the National Union of Local Government Employees in Abia State resigned after a leadership crisis lasted five months.
Both Comrade Ikechi Nwaigwe, who was elected President of NULGE in May 2023, and Comrade Abayomi Afolabi, who was chosen Secretary of NULGE in May 2023, are already feeling the effects of the problems.
It has been stated that Nwaigwe has been sent to a government ministry in the State, while Afolabi, the union’s previous secretary, has been suspended by members for allegedly acting against the union’s interests.
As such, a new Caretaker leadership has been installed in the State to manage NULGE for the next two weeks while new elections are held for the executive board.
Comrade Obinna Nwogu is one of the leaders of the Caretaker government.
Comrade Ijeoma Onyenucheya, a former union leader, spoke during the recent inauguration of the Caretaker leadership in Umuahia. He urged local government workers in the State to elect excellent individuals to represent them and entrusted the Caretaker leaders of NULGE with conducting a free and fair election.
Since their election in May, Nwaigwe and Afolabi have come up against a number of obstacles. One of these is the creation of a factional leadership that claims to be the real executive.
Each side launched a series of statements, counterstatements, and press releases declaring themselves the victor of the May 2023 election.
For allegedly acting against NULGE’s interests in Abia, the National Leadership of NULGE announced in August that it had fired two union executives, Kenneth Nwasuka and Ikechuckwu Uko.
The expulsion was signed on July 21, 2023, by NULGE National Secretary Comrade Isa Gambo.
However, when questioned by BANKPAWA a staff member of the Abia State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Umuahia claimed that the crisis had begun before the current Abia State Government took office.
Ministry personnel said that linking Governor Alex Otti’s administration to the union’s problems was unwarranted.
However, critics from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, claim that Otti’s administration has usurped power at the state and provincial levels in Abia.
Similarly, in late September, Comrade Ambali Akeem Olatunji, the National President of NULGE, claimed that the Governor was meddling in NULGE business in Abia.
At the time of Comrade Frederick Akinrinlola’s inauguration as President of the NULGE for the State of Ondo, he made these remarks at Akure.