The Nigeria Employers’ Consultation Association (NECA) has observed that a section of the Press had linked it to the use of thugs and hoodlums to dislodge the illegal picketing of its premises by the unlawful faction of the Union led by Joe Ajaero. In a reaction at the weekend, the Director General of NECA, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo noted that “NECA is a law abiding organisation that will not resort to lawlessness to dislodge lawlessness. This, actually, informed our decision to invite the Police and the DSS to protect us and our premises when we got wind of the Joe Ajaero faction’s plan to picket us.” He added that “Our own investigation on the identity of those that came to dislodge Ajaero and his cohorts has revealed three possibilities as follows:
- In-fighting among hoodlums and thugs hired by Ajaero over distribution of money paid them to carry out the illegal picket
- Another group of Ajaero’s hired hoodlums who felt left out of the largesse, after an initial mobilisation, and then decided to undermine the illegal picketing
- A counter action by the legal and recognised NLC to stop Ajaero from further acting in the name of NLC and parading himself its President.”
These are all possible leads as we welcome the appropriate authority to investigate the cause of this mayhem, which ordinarily would not have occurred if Ajaero has respected the industrial relations laws of Nigeria and the law enforcement agencies present in NECA have acted decisively by dispersing the picketers who were very unruly and in fact paralysed vehicular and human movement in the entire Ikeja neighborhood. We again affirm that trade unionism and union immunity is not a license for anyone to brazenly trample on the rights of other economic actors and breach public order.
According to Mr. Oshinowo, “In the light of the current decadent state of Industrial Relations practice in Nigeria as evidenced by the kind of action perpetrated against NECA by the Joe Ajaero’s illegal faction of the Union, NECA would once again want to call on the Federal Government of Nigeria as a matter of urgency to summon a summit of the social partners for the purpose of setting in motion the much-needed reform of our Industrial Relations’ System.”