THE Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has elected Comrade Ahmad Labbo as its new National President on Sunday, October 11, 2020 in Kano.
Comrade Labbo succeeds Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, who was the union’s President until his sudden death on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 in Abuja. Comrade Khaleel was buried in his home town, Wudil, Kano State the following day, Thursday, October 8.
Comrade Labbo who was unanimously elected at NULGE’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Kano is expected to complete the tenure of the late president which will end in March, 2021.
In his address, shortly after his election, Comrade Labbo promised to continue with the late president’s struggle for autonomy of the local government system in Nigeria as he stressed that he was one of the foot soldiers in the struggle for local government autonomy under Comrade Khaleel’s leadership. He stated that the machinery for the struggle for local government autonomy is still on ground and vowed to continue with the fight until it is achieved.
Comrade Labbo also stated that he would focus on other legacies of his late predecessor which he said include among other things unity staff welfare.
Comrade Labbo said: “Today is actually not a day of long speeches but rather a day to sober reflect on our various activities as mortal beings; a day to look inward and assess ourselves on how well we will love to be remembered after we have exited the union.
“The sudden death of our leader, the National President, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel Abdulkadir mni who exited not just the Union but this terrestrial world on Wednesday, 7th October, 2020 is indeed a big shock and a great loss not only to our union but also the labour movement in Nigeria.
“Our leader, during his lifetime was known as ‘Mr. Autonomy’. This is because he was always on the frontline of mobilizing the nation’s workforce at the grassroots to develop this tier of government for greater productivity and efficiency, while also ensuring the protection of workers’ rights and welfare.
“We acknowledge his unique contributions to the labour movement, governance at all levels and democracy issues, particularly his many years of constant and strong advocacy for Local Government Autonomy in Nigeria.”
Why praying for the repose of the soul of Comrade Khaleel, the new president stated that he is humbled that the NEC chose him to lead the union.
“At this juncture, I must have to confess that I am humbled by the fact that the National Executive Council (NEC) has chosen me to lead the union at a time like this. Though the responsibility is not an easy one but with your cooperation, the job will be made easy for me. To this end, I assure all NULGERIANS that my eyes and mind are already focused on the future considering where we are now and fixed on where we must go, having in mind where we are coming from.
“In fact, NULGE is more than a space that we occupy. NULGE is a way of life that speaks of liberality of spirit and a commitment to excellence in all facets of human endeavours. If this describes your outlook on your relationship to fellow comrades, the Union and society at large, then you are a pure and true NULGERIAN. Therefore, I urge you to join hands with me to move the Union forward,” Comrade Labbo stated as urged members to be focused in providing better livelihood for all members and staff.
He called for unity in the union stressing that in doing so; members will be building on one of the legacies of the late National President. “This is a clarion call to all of us to be strong and unite believing that togetherness we will uphold the principles of Ibrahim Khaleel as we know he stood for peace and unity. It is my humble believe that even in death Ibrahim Khaleel will be proud that he left behind strong and virile foot soldiers, dogged in the attainment of the ideals of the founding fathers of our great union of which our late leader upheld and pursued till his demise. I believe that in togetherness we can achieve this feat,” he said.
Comrade Labbo said his leadership, as a transition, will immediately commence the process as that was the item on agenda of the late Comrade Khaleel. “The new leadership shall kick start the process of transition without delay. This was perhaps the last official task expected of our late leader before his demise. Therefore we shall keep the flag flying. Also, the union’s activities will not be halted but will be on course.
According to the new National President, “the staff of the union should as a matter of fact be expecting a better and improved welfare packages within and after the transition period.” He said “issues of minimum wage, staff pension and promotion shall be of great importance” to his leadership “because we hold our staff in high esteem since we see them as the engine room of our union.”