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Comrade Ziko Okwudi, victory steps.
Comrade Eziko Okwudi had an easy walk over of his opponents when he received massive votes yesterday, Tuesday, November 26, 2019 to emerge with a renewed mandate as president of the Nigria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) for another four years.
He was elected along with other officials of the Union in the State during the Seventh Quadrennial State Delegates Conference of the Union held at the Labour House, Asaba, Delta State.
The conference which was declared open by the Chairman, Delta State Local Government Service Commission, Hon. Josephe Otirhue was attended by delegates from the 25 local Government Councils in the State and observed by members of the State Local Government Service Commission, representatives of the National Leadership of NULGE and the leadership of Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, Delta State as well as the representatives of the security agencies.
Declaring Comrade Ziko Okwudi as the winner of the election, the returning officer for the poll, Comrade Lambert Onuigbo who is the National Auditor of NULGE announced that the State President NULGE, Delta State polled a total of 205 votes to defeat his closest rival, Comrade Ijolo Ohioliwo who scored a total of 30 votes while Comrade Emaduku Austin got nil vote.
Others who were returned elected into the State Executive Council of the Union in Delta State included Comrade Ogberetilino Obatarhe who was returned as the Deputy State President, Kingsley Uwaosayemi; State treasure, Comrade Areh Juliet; State Women Chairperson, Comrade Onowotu Alfred; State Auditor and Comrade Perekeme Seliyibo as well as Comrade Onahor Lawrence were returned as State Trustees.
Comrade Stanley Akogba, Comrade Erhue Charles and Comrade Azikiwe Corliss were also returned elected as State Publicity Secretary, State Welfare Officer and Young Worker Representatives respectively.
Declaring the quadrennial delegate conference open, the Chairman, Delta State Local Government Service Commission, Hon Josephe Otihue commended the contestants for conducting themselves in the right manner during their campaigns, saying that the campaigns were peaceful and eventful.
“I am happy to note that the contestants heeded the advice of the Commission to ensure that the campaigns were devoid of violence and rancor. You must have had your differences in the run up to this election but today is the climax and as one family we are gathered here to elect a new leadership for NULGE at the State Level.
“Unionism is togetherness and oneness with unity of purpose. As we all know, the essence of any union is to advance the interest of that group and this can only be achieved through articulate and purposeful leadership.
“The election of a new EXCO is a serious business but not a matter of death because after the election you remain as staff of the Unified Local Government Service of Delta State,” Otirhue admonished.
He advised the incoming EXCO to be humble, but not submissive while agitating for the welfare of members, saying that being confrontational would always lead to strife and disharmony in the system, adding that the incoming leadership of the Union in the State needs more of consultation with the management of the Commission with a view to ensuring industrial harmony in the Local Government System in the State.
Speaking after his election, Comrade Okwudi who will formally be inaugurated at the expiration of this tenure in January 2020, expressed his appreciation to the body of workers through the delegates for their overwhelming endorsement, pledging that the EXCO under his leadership will continue to put the interest of the workers of the Unified Local Government Workers in the State as top priority.
In an interview with journalists, Okwudi described the election as a peaceful and impressive one while dedicating their victory to God and the Governor of the State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, noting that God in his infinite mercy used the instrumentality of the person of the State Governor to stabilize and bring about sanity in the welfare of the workers of the Councils when he took over as the State President of NUGEL at a critical period in the life of the Union.
“You will agree with me that before now, local Government workers in the this state were nothing to write home about coupled with challenges of unpaid salaries and so many other issues but to the glory of God, His Excellency the Governor came into the picture and gave me a safe landing as the leader of the body of Council workers in the State.
“If the Governor has not given me that safe landing, I don’t think the entire workers of the unified Local Government Councils in Delta would have given me this massive support and votes,” Comrade Okwudi noted, stressing that without the support and cooperation of the Governor to his leadership by way of listening to all his appeals on behalf of the workers, “I think this people would have turned their back against me, hence the need for me to sincerely appreciate him for the leverage given to us to excel as leaders of the body of workers in the 25 local Government councils in this State.”
The highly charismatic union leader, therefore called on the workers to continue to keep faith with the newly elected leadership of the Union in the State, assuring that they will continue to use the mandate given to them to work and project their interest.
Comrade Okwudi said: “The new leadership has emerged, continuity, that is what we are saying and with all the support from the entire work force of the Local Government Councils in Delta State, we are not for any reason going to disappoint them and having the Governor on our side, all what we ask for in the interest of the workers will come to accomplishment.”
While extending hands of fellowship to persons that contested against him, Comrade Okwudi further described the election as a no victor, no vanquished one, even as he said that the election being all about popularity, the entire workers having decided who their leaders should be, every other person including those who opposed them during the election should come together to move the union as one indivisible entity.
The delegate election which was peaceful was also witnessed the representative of the National President of NULGE who is also the National Auditor, Comrade Onuigbo Lambert, State President Of NULGE Cross River State; Comrade Godwin AYenbi who is also the Chairman Conference of State Presidents of NUGEL, (COSPON), the State President of NULGE Bayelsa State; Comrade Akpos Ekiegha and State President of NULGE Akwa Ibom State; Comrade Barr. Martins Effiong amongst others