• Admits Knowledge of Court Case, Not Court Injunction 
  • Calls 2-Year Tenure Elongation Progressive Idea, Collective Decision

THE Comrade Lateef Idowu Oyelekan-led faction of the National Union Food,

Comrade Oyelekan

Beverages and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) has declared that there is not crisis in the union. Comrade Oyelekan made the declaration yesterday, Tuesday, September 15, 2020, in a press statement he signed as text of a press briefing he had with journalists at the union’s headquarters in Lagos which was made available to National Record.

Comrade Oyelekan’s press briefing will be the first time in several months since the crisis in the Food Union became public knowledge that he will be personally engaging the press with his side of the controversy over his plot to elongate his tenure through a contrived emergency delegates conference.

Comrade Oyelekan said reports in “some print, electronic and social media spreading misinformation to the unsuspecting public insinuating the existence of crisis and claiming that our union has been factionalized” are “nothing but outright falsehood.”

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Oyelekan, while admitting that the union is aware of the court case instituted by some aggrieved members against his leadership of the union, however denied knowledge of the interlocutory injunction by the Lagos Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court (NIC) under His Lordship, Honourable Justice (Dr) I. J. Essien, which ordered the Food Union to stop its Emergency Delegates Conference scheduled for August 21, 2020 until the determination of the substantive case.

While noting that “our union was duly served with the notice of their [aggrieved members’] Court action on 3rd July, 2020” [his emphasis], he however stated that the union continued with the preparation for the Emergency Delegates Conference which eventually was held on 21st August, 2020 as scheduled” only to be flooded with media “speculation” that the union disobeyed a court order.

“Surprisingly, we were shocked to be in-undated with speculation in various media which claimed that our Union disobeyed a Court Order that purportedly restrained Our Union from holding the concluded conference.

“It is therefore exceedingly expedient to make it abundantly clear that our Union was not served with any Order of Court or injunction as at the day the Emergency Delegates Conference was held.” Comrade Oyelekan stated.

No Crisis, No Faction

According to Comrade Oyelekan, the media reports insinuating crisis or faction in the Food Union were not only mere speculation “but outright falsehood.” He said the press conference was meant to stop “further spread of misinformation” by stating the facts and address the issues raised in” in the media.

“Our Union is not in any way factionalized,” he said, adding that the leadership of the union remains intact. He asserted that whoever is talking of faction in the Food Union is only being unrealistic.

Comrade Busari

“The leadership of our Union remain [sic] intact without any division. The current members of the National Administrative Committee (NAC) elected on the 9th December, 2016 for a four years tenure are still solidly united, save for Comrade Onoja J. Peter currently on suspension due to his gross anti-union conducts.

“In other words, out of 11 elected members of the National Administrative Committee (NAC), Ten (10) are very united in performing their duties. In the same vein, out of Six (6) appointed members, five are performing their respective duties with absolute commitment.

“Meanwhile the General Secretary (Comrade Bamidele Busari) is currently on suspension owing to his gross infraction against the Constitution of our Union. In summary, Fifteen (15) members of our NAC are solidly carrying out their mandates constitutionally,” Oyelekan stated, as he listed both elected and appointed leadership under his faction of the union, numbering 15 officers.

“Consequently, whoever is talking of fractionalization in our union is a mere figment of their [sic] unrealistic imagination.”

Comrade Onoja

‘Tenure elongation’ a progressive, collective idea

While addressing the allegation by aggrieved members that he illegally plotted to illegally elongate his tenure through the emergency delegates conference, Comrade Oyelekan failed to emphatically dismiss the charge.

According to Comrade Oyelekan, the rational for the extension of tenure that he and his colleagues in the leadership of the union sought to get, was rather a progressive initiative” which “he was never involved in…but rather pressured by others to embrace” as a collective decision.

Providing background details, Comrade Oyelekan stated in his press statement thus:

“The deferments of elections across board for all organs of our Union by two years, in other words, two years extension of the current tenure of Elected Officers of our Union, was a meticulous and progressive decision overwhelmingly adopted by the National Executive Council (NEC) at its annual meeting held in Abuja on February, 4th 2019. The decision was arrived at as a fallout of the transparent financial report presented by the leadership of our Union to the NEC in-session.

“Based on that, the NEC in-session was extremely encouraged and moved that the money in the account be invested to build another branch of our Union Hotel in Ibadan, Oyo State to be handled specifically by the current National Leadership considering their unprecedented achievement and commitment exhibited over the years since their emergence as National Administrative Committee (NAC) members.

“Therefore, the main motive for the deferment of elections by two (2) years was predicated on the necessity to avoid the unhealthy incidence of animosity, bickering and unnecessary distractions usually associated with the process and conduct of elections. Furthermore, the motion for this vital and highly desirable deferment of elections was moved by the same set of members now clamouring for the discontinuation of the tenure extension implementation.

“Contrary to the impression been portrayed in various media, the truth remains that the amiable and humble President of our Union, Comrade Oyelekan Lateef Idowu was never involved in the initiative of the progressive idea of two (2) years tenure extension. Rather, it was a collective decision of the union members across the Country to the mutual benefit of all members.

“In a nutshell, the 2 years ELECTION DEFERMENT (popularly referred to as TENURE ELONGATION) is specifically targeted at achieving the building of another monumental hotel project in Ibadan to be constructed, completed and commissioned latest by December 2022.

“It may interest you to know that the construction of the Four (4) Storeys Hotel building is already on the third floor.” (His emphasis)

On the Emergency Delegates Conference

Comrade Oyelekan stated that the idea to hold the Emergency Delegates Conference was the major agenda discussed at the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on 14th February 2020, where it was resolved convene the conference “to address very pressing and urgent matters.”

According to him, the NEC also resolved and directed the NAC of the union to ensure that the emergency conference unfailingly held between February and August 2020.

He said: “Consequent upon the directive by NEC, the National Administrative Committee (NAC) at their [sic] meeting held on 3rd of July, 2020 in compliance with NEC resolution and directive resolved and adopted the scheduling of the Emergency Delegates Conference for 21st of August 2020.

“Meanwhile the suspended General Secretary (Comrade Bamidele Busari) and the suspended Signing Trustee of our union (Comrade Onoja Peter) attended the NAC meeting and interestingly actively participated in all the preparations and process leading to the holding of the conference.

“However, it is important to note that Comrades Bamidele Busari and Onoja Peter, eventually conspired with some misinformed members of our union to sue the leadership of our union to [sic] National Industrial Court (NIC) with calculated attempt to derail the progressive and patriotic efforts of our union to transform our union through the review of our outdated Constitution and a bid to reinforce the investments of the union.”

Media Reports as propaganda

While dismissing media reports of the union’s crisis as propaganda and urging the public to discountenance them as speculations, Comrade Oyelekan however acknowledged the existence of the litigation. “It must also be noted that our union was duly served with the notice of their [aggrieved members’] Court action on 3rd July, 2020,” Oyelekan said, but however went on to admit that in spite of being served the court action, his leadership was not aware of any court order stopping the emergency delegates conference, when he stated: “Meanwhile, we continued with the preparation for the Emergency Delegates Conference which eventually was held on 21st August, 2020 as scheduled.” [His emphasis].

According to Comrade Oyelekan, he and his leadership were surprised, even “shocked to be in-undated with speculation in various media which claimed that our Union disobeyed a Court Order that purportedly restrained Our Union from holding the concluded conference.”

He further stated: “It is therefore exceedingly expedient to make it abundantly clear that our Union was not served with any Order of Court or injunction as at the day the Emergency Delegates Conference was held.

“Up till this moment, our Union is yet to be served with the alleged injunction Order from any Court of law.

“Our members across the Country and the General Public is [sic] hereby advised to discontinuance [sic] all speculations and propaganda being peddled over the town by the suspended officers of our Union.

“For clarity sake, we would also want you to know that our constitution has been properly reviewed and we now have established a limit of two terms of four years for any elective office to facilitate and ensure peaceful transition.

“Equally, we have enshrined in the constitution proper administration of our investment, to protect it from mismanagement and undue mortgage.” [His emphasis].

Below is the full text of Comrade Oyelekan’s press statement:

PRESS STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF FOOD BEVERAGE AND TOBACCO EMPLOYEES (NUFBTE), COMRADE LATEEF IDOWU OYELEKAN AT A PRESS BRIEFING ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2020 AT NUFBTE HEADQUARTERS IN LAGOS

Gentlemen of the Press,

You are all welcome to our National secretariat.

Today’s briefing is necessary to put records in proper perspective in relation to our union and also afford us the opportunity for you to know more about our activities and achievement as Organized Labour.

NO CRISIS IN FOOD UNION

Our Union’s attention has been drawn to publications in some print, electronic and social media spreading misinformation to the unsuspecting public insinuating the existence of crisis and claiming that our union has been factionalized.

Without mincing words, I wish to expediently make it clear that the news been circulated contains nothing but outright falsehood.

For clarity sake and avoidance of further spread of misinformation, therefore we wish to state the facts and address the issues raised in various media Organizations as follows:

ALLEGED FRACTIONALIZATION OF NUFBTE:

Our Union is not in any way factionalized.

The leadership of our Union remain intact without any division The current members of the National Administrative Committee (NAC) elected on the 9th December, 2016 for a four years tenure are still solidly united, save for Comrade Onoja J. Peter currently on suspension due to his gross anti0union conducts.

In other words, out of 11 elected members of the National Administrative Committee (NAC), Ten (10) are very united in performing their duties. In the same vein, out of Six (6) appointed members, five are performing their respective duties with absolute commitment.

Meanwhile the General Secretary (Comrade Bamidele Busari) is currently on suspension owing to his gross infraction against the Constitution of our Union. In summary, Fifteen (15) members of our NAC are solidly carrying out their mandates constitutionally.

The current National Administrative Committee (NAC) are as follows:-

  1. Comrade Lateef Oyelekan –                      National President
  2. Comrade Mike Olarenwaju –                      General Secretary
  3. Comrade Ibrahim Garba –                      Deputy National President
  4. Comrade Virginus Nwobodo –                      National Vice President
  5. Comrade Sylvester Eterigho –                      National Vice President
  6. Comrade Christopher Nwosu –                      National Vice President
  7. Comrade Gbenga Ishola –                      National Vice President
  8. Comrade Ahmed Yahaya –                      National Treasurer
  9. Comrade Daniel Benson –                      National Signing Trustee
  10. Comrade Tony Anyasi –                      National Trustee
  11. Comrade Kate Charles –                      National Auditor
  12. Comrade Lekan Makinde –                      DGS (HOD-Brewery/Tobacco)
  13. Comrade – Paschal Madu –                      DGS (HOD-Research/Statistics).
  14. Comrade Sunday Ilesanmi –                      DGS (HOD-Admin/Personnel)
  15. Comrade Samson Ayeni –                      DGS (Food/Confectionaries).

Please note that the following members of NAC are currently on suspension, namely:

(1) Comrade Bamidele Busari –          Suspended General Secretary

(2) Comrade Onoja Peter –          Suspended National Signing Trustee

Consequently, whoever is talking of fractionalization in our union is a mere figment of their unrealistic imagination.

(2) ALLEGED TENURE ELONGATION

The deferments of elections across board for all organs of our Union by two years, in other words, two years extension of the current tenure of Elected Officers of our Union, was a meticulous and progressive decision overwhelmingly adopted by the National Executive Council (NEC) at its annual meeting held in Abuja on February, 4th 2019. The decision was arrived at as a fallout of the transparent financial report presented by the leadership of our Union to the NEC in-session.

Based on that, the NEC in-session was extremely encouraged and moved that the money in the account be invested to build another branch of our Union Hotel in Ibadan, Oyo State to be handled specifically by the current National Leadership considering their unprecedented achievement and commitment exhibited over the years since their emergence as National Administrative Committee (NAC) members.

Therefore, the main motive for the deferment of elections by two (2) years was predicated on the necessity to avoid the unhealthy incidence of animosity, bickering and unnecessary distractions usually associated with the process and conduct of elections. Furthermore, the motion for this vital and highly desirable deferment of elections was moved by the same set of members now clamouring for the discontinuation of the tenure extension implementation.

Contrary to the impression been portrayed in various media, the truth remains that the amiable and humble President of our Union, Comrade Oyelekan Lateef Idowu was never involved in the initiative of the progressive idea of two (2) years tenure extension. Rather, it was a collective decision of the union members across the Country to the mutual benefit of all members.

In a nutshell, the 2 years ELECTION DEFERMENT (popularly referred to as TENURE ELONGATION) is specifically targeted at achieving the building of another monumental hotel project in Ibadan to be constructed, completed and commissioned latest by December 2022.

It may interest you to know that the construction of the Four (4) Storeys Hotel building is already on the third floor.

(3) OUR EMERGENCY DELEGATES CONFERENCE AND ALLEGED DISOBEDIENCE OF COURT ORDER:-

It will be recalled that the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of our Union was held on 14th February 2020. One of the major issues discussed and adopted was the resolution of NEC in-session to convene an Emergency Delegates Conference (EDC) of our union to address very pressing and urgent matters.

The NEC in-Session further resolved and directed the National Administrative Committee (NAC) of our Union to ensure that the Emergency Delegates Conference is held between February and August 2020 unfailingly.

Consequent upon the directive by NEC, the National Administrative Committee (NAC) at their meeting held on 3rd of July, 2020 in compliance with NEC resolution and directive resolved and adopted the scheduling of the Emergency Delegates Conference for 21st of August 2020.

Meanwhile the suspended General Secretary (Comrade Bamidele Busari) and the suspended Signing Trustee of our union (Comrade Onoja Peter) attended the NAC meeting and interestingly actively participated in all the preparations and process leading to the holding of the conference.

However, it is important to note that Comrades Bamidele Busari and Onoja Peter, eventually conspired with some misinformed members of our union to sue the leadership of our union to National Industrial Court (NIC) with calculated attempt to derail the progressive and patriotic efforts of our union to transform our union through the review of our outdated Constitution and a bid to reinforce the investments of the union. It must also be noted that our union was duly served with the notice of their Court action on 3rd July, 2020.

Meanwhile, we continued with the preparation for the Emergency Delegates Conference which eventually was held on 21st August, 2020 as scheduled.

Surprisingly, we were shocked to be in-undated with speculation in various media which claimed that our Union disobeyed a Court Order that purportedly restrained Our Union from holding the concluded conference.

It is therefore exceedingly expedient to make it abundantly clear that our Union was not served with any Order of Court or injunction as at the day the Emergency Delegates Conference was held.

Up till this moment, our Union is yet to be served with the alleged injunction Order from any Court of law.

Our members across the Country and the General Public is hereby advised to discontinuance all speculations and propaganda being peddled over the town by the suspended offices of our Union.

For clarity sake, we would also want you to know that our constitution has been properly reviewed and we now have established a limit of two terms of four years for any elective office to facilitate and ensure peaceful transition.

Equally, we have enshrined in the constitution proper administration of our investment, to protect it from mismanagement and undue mortgage.

We thank you for coming.

GOD BLESS US ALL.

COMRADE OYELEKAN LATEEF IDOWU

NATIONAL PRESIDENT

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