By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Aggrieved members of National Union of Agricultural and Allied Employees (NUAAE) yesterday, staged a peaceful protest against the continuous stay in office of an alleged suspended National President of the union, Comrade Simon Anchaver.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, the National Treasurer of NUAAE, Comrade Obafemi Oyenubi said, “we came here to conduct our meeting at the national secretariat but discovered that the policemen that are here didn’t want to allow us to enter, saying that they haven’t received directive about our coming and immediately, we received invitation from the area commander which we obliged and he advised us to be law abiding”.
According to him, the Area Police Command rescheduled their meeting with the Anchaver group to May 5, 2023 to find lasting solution to the lingering crisis.
He said, “our demand is that Comrade Anchaver is on suspension therefore, he dares not parade himself to conduct meeting of this union. Besides, he’s a retiree from Benue State therefore, we’ll not accept him as our leader any more and also to allow us use our offices at the headquarters.”
According to him, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is aware of the lingering crisis in the union as they have their delegates from there too.
In a related development, Comr. Oyenubi said that he (Anchaver) has written illegal letter terminating the leadership of Kwara State executive of Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority, which is against the rules and regulations stipulated in their union’s constitution.
He appealed to the relevant authorities to disregard and reverse such purported letter, arguing that Comrade Anchaver is suspended, therefore, he doesn’t have legal rights to write the management of the basin in Ilorin, Kwara State capital.
On his part, the acting President of NUAAE, Comrade Comrade Aniedi Ekpo said, ” the crisis rocking the union can just be summarised as selfishness and greed by the erstwhile National President of the union, Anchaver who was suspended since December 4, 2021 but still holds unto power with some individuals he can manipulate.
“In so doing, he’s bringing down the reputation of the union. However, we’re moving forward with legal backup to show that we’re sincere in this course,” he said.
He stressed that they are expecting Comrade Anchaver will be at the meeting next month for them to resolve the crisis.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Lower Niger River Basin Forum, Comrade Mudi Olayinka said, “the issue started last year, where we made corruption allegations against the Management of Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority Ilorin.
He noted that Comrade Anchaver invited him over the issue, which he explained to him and the next step was a letter suspending him which is against their constitution.
Several calls and text messages sent to the contact of Comrade Anchaver at the time of filing this report, were not responded to.
The highlights of the meeting was that the aggrieved members of the union were seen chanting solidarity songs at the front of their headquarters at Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.