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Sheath your sword, ALGON urges NULGE, CLO

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In view of the festering political crisis in Rivers state, the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON , has urged the National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, over its planned protest against the police barricade of the 23 local government council Secretariats in Rivers State.

It will be recalled that NULGE President in Rivers State, Clifford Paul, in a statement in Port Harcourt on Friday gave the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, four days ultimatum to order his men to vacate the 23 LG councils being barricaded or the union would mobilize its members for a protest.

Paul, according to the statement alleged that said the action of the police has prevented its members from going to work from where they provide for their families and the attendant man hour losses.

Also, the State chairmen of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Alex Agwanwor and his Trade Union Congress counterparty, Ikechukwu Onyefuru, in a joint statement had  condemned the action of the police and backed the NULGE ultimatum to the IGP for his men to vacate the council headquarters or face similar protest.

Responding to this development, Hon. Allwell Ihunda, the embattled Rivers State ALGON Chairman loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, accused NULGE of taking sides in the political crisis in the state.

Ihunda, stated this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt on Sunday, alleging that Governor Siminalayi Fubara appointed NULGE members who are council workers into caretaker committees for the 23 LGAs, saying it is wrong except they resign from their duties.

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Ihunda alleged that it was the reason that “NULGE is collaborating with the NLC and the TUC to stage the protest against the police on Monday”, pointing out that the Governor had gone ahead to appoint the members of the CTC when the Court asked all parties in the matter to maintain status quo.

“We are aware that in spite of the matter in the Court of Appeal, on the 19th of June, the Rivers State Governor went ahead to appoint caretaker committee members for the 23 local government areas of the State in spite of the fact that the Appeal Court has stated clearly that all parties should maintain status quo on all the suits before the Court.

“Now from the list of caretaker committee members we observe that across the 23 LGA appointments were made from NULGE members as part of the caretaker committees whereas these NULGE members are staff of the council. They were not supposed to be.

“That is the reason why we observe recently that NULGE has collaborated with the NLC and TUC to carry out a protest tomorrow 24th of June against the police men that the Inspector General of Police has ordered to stay in the councils to maintain law and order to forestall further deaths that was experienced in Omuma LGA.

On his part, the former chairman of Emuoha local government area, Dr Chidi Lloyd, said it was unfortunate that NULGE in the state has thrown itself into the political dispute of Rivers state

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“We have heard from publications by NULGE under the leadership of one Clifford Paul, they have dangerously entered the arena of political dispute.

“These are supposed to be civil servants. But they (NULGE) have made nominations into the illegal caretaker committees who were sworn by Oko-Jumbo and two others.

“And they did not resign their appointments in pursuant to the provisions of the Rivers State Local Government Law. First, for you to be a member of a local government caretaker committee you must resign whatever appointment you hold.

“We are not aware that any of them have resigned. They have taken the oath of office. So they cannot say they are calling for the police to vacate the premises of the various local governments because they want to go to work.

“These are people now who are dangerously aligned in the seeming dispute.  We have the capacity to cause whatever violence that they want.

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