By Kelvin Obambon
Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Cross River State Council, has elected new executives that will pilot its affairs for the next three years at the just concluded 6th Triennial Delegates Conference held on Wednesday at the Kolanut event centre, Calabar.
Speaking during the conference, Chairman of the state council, Comr. Monday Ogbodum called on TUC members and Nigerians to ensure they participate actively in the 2023 general elections in order to change the ugly narrative.
Ogbodum said the crop of leaders in the country have failed Nigerians, while calling on citizens to braze up and make effective change with their PVCs by turning out en masse to vote.
Bemoaning the harsh economic situation in the country, the TUC chief said there was urgent need to enthrone transformative governance through democratic emergence of competent and visionary leaders at all levels.
“The crop of leaders in the country have failed Nigerians. I’m using this medium to call on workers, civil societies and indeed Nigerians to braze up, hold the bull by the horns , to effect and change the narratives by voting personalities with integrity and Nigeria’s interest at heart.
“We can’t continue this way, you and I and all of us must effect the change that we want to see, nobody should sit on the fence, we must all come out and participate by exercising our civil responsibility come 2023,” he said.
On his giant strides in the past years, Ogbodum maintained that his administration was able to fast track the implementation for civil servants who were promoted in 2016 without implementation.
He said the TUC in collaboration with NLC was able to secure approval and release of N200,000 million for payment of gratuities that was left unattended to since 2014.
He also commended the state government for lifting the embargo on employment of civil servants by granting approval for fresh employment into the civil service.
In his remark, the National President of TUC, Comr. Festus Osifo represented by Comr. Tony Mokwenye called on the state government to implement the new minimum wage to ease the sufferings of civil servants, especially as the country is facing harsh economic realities.
On his part, the state Governor, Senator Ben Ayade represented by the Head of Service (HoS) Mr. Timothy Akwaji, congratulated the union for a successful end of leadership term and a peaceful transition.
He, however, stated that the governor has always placed a premium on the welfare of workers by paying salaries regularly.
“We know there are challenges, as we sit down here, there are states in Nigeria owing salaries up to one year but in Cross River State, our story is not as bad as that and we will continue to do the needful.
“Also, the challenges that we have as it concerns payment of gratuities, is being addressed effectively.” he assured.
The Chairman, Comr. Monday Ogbodum who returned unpossessed has Comr. Gabriel Effiong as Vice Chairman and Comr. Ken Bassey as Secretary.
Others include Comr. ( Dr ) Joseph Ewa as Assistant Secretary, Moses Ekpo, treasurer, Itoro Anselem, Comr. (Dr) Bassey Icha as PRO, Comr. Celestine Ogbu Auditor, Comr. Clarkson Otu ex-officio, Comr. Mustapha Okon Auditor II.
While Comr. ( Mrs ) Josephine Abobi is Chairperson women commission and Comr. ( Mrs) Regina Odunsi is Secretary women Commission.
In his acceptance speech, the newly sworn in Chairman, Com Monday Ogbodum said he was committed to the welfare of workers in the state while urging them to always verify information before sharing.
Ogbodum said he would raise the bar as Chairman even higher by ensuring that all that workers were entitled to were duly given them to them.
“I can’t do it on my own, I need the support of every worker in Cross River state, I want to also beg you to desist from sharing unverified information to avoid unnecessary panic in the system,” he said.