The stage is set for an epic battle between the two groups vying for the control of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ikorodu Local Government branch.
The two groups are vying for the 17 union executive positions in the election that is scheduled to hold at the Ikorodu Local Government Secretariat hall today.
THE IMPACT gathered that the election has divided the council staff members along two divides in an attempt to wrestle control of the union .
It was gathered that while candidates would be contesting in the election for different NULGE offices in Ikorodu Local Government, candidates in other five councils in Ikorodu Division – Ikorodu West, Ikorodu North, Igbogbo/Bayeku, Ijede and Imota Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), who will be conducting their elections at a later date, have reportedly reached consensus.
Today’s election in Ikorodu LG is between a group led by the outgoing NULGE Chairman, Comrade Mabodu Adegoke, and the outgoing General Secretary of the union, Comrade Adekunle Odunayo.
Others vying for positions in Mabodu’s camp are Comrade Olagunju Lateef (Vice chairman), Comrade Adebambo Oriyomi (General Secretary), Comrade Olaeye Olufemi S. (Assistant secretary), Comrade Atobajaiye M. Morayo (Treasurer), Comrade Idowu Adebayo (Auditor), Comrade Oyewoga Adetola R. (Trustee), Comrade Adereti Oluwatoyin (Woman Leader) and Comrade Ajenifuja Adewale (Young person).
Others in that group are candidates contesting as departmental representatives. They include Comrade Adelabu Titilayo A, (Personnel), Comrade Oshipitan Benjamin (Finance), Comrade Ogunnoiki R. Tosin (Health), Comrade Lawal Funke (Lawaal funke (Budget), Comrade Olusanya Olubukola (Agric), Comrade Odunuga Olusegun (Education), Comrade Ogunleye O. Saheed (Works) and Comrade Owokodu Lateefah (Environment).
In the camp of Odunayo are Comrade Gbenga Okusanya (Vice Chairman), Com. Adesoye Garry (Treasurer), Com. RufaiToheeb (Auditor, Com. BankoleOlufunke (Trustee), Com. Oduloye Mayowa (Personnel Rep), Com. Odusanya Olubukola (Agric Rep), Com. Okeowo Kazeem (Environmental Rep), Com. Shittu Olalekan (Committee Rep), Com. AdejoOlalekan (Health Rep), Com. Olawole Serah (Education Rep).
While Mabodu’s group seem to have massive support from the NULGE leadership and staff in Ikorodu division, Odunayo group, we gathered is counting on the State support, though, he is equally popular among staff of the council,
THE IMPACT gathered that NULGE election is usually decided by leaders in the union. While some of these leaders are still in the service of the Council, others are not but, according to report, they still wield great influences .
Sources informed our reporter that the tension the election is generating is due to the interest of one of the union leaders in Ikorodu Division who is allegedly being supported by others in the division to take over at the state level.
We, however, gathered that some officers at the state level of the union are preventing such move by sponsoring candidates in the six councils in the division.
It was also gathered that leaders and members of the union in the division are supporting the said chieftain for the state position in Ikorodu division’s interests
Sources revealed that Odunayo and group’s ambition are seen as working contrary to this interest.
Another source also informed our reporter that the election became tensed because of what the Odunayo camp perceived as imposition without due consultation.
It was also gathered that some members of the group are aggrieved because the NULGE Leadership did not only impose their choice candidates but also did not consider Odunayo and Okusanya to retain their positions as General Secretary and Vice Chairman respectively.
Attempts by prominent individuals such as the Ikorodu LG Chairman, Hon. Wasiu Adesina, Ijede LCDA Chairman who was also former council staff member and NULGE chieftain, Comrade Fathiu Salisu, former NULGE Chairman, Ikorodu LG, Comrade Kehinde Okeowo and leadership of the union at the state level to douse the tension through reconciliation proved abortive.
THE IMPACT also gathered that Odunayo group initially demanded for seven positions but later reduced it to four including the Secretaryship, one other executive position and two representative positions, but the other camp allegedly insisted that the two parties should go to the poll to test their popularity.
Some key members of the Mabodu camp, while speaking with THE IMPACT, stated that it would amounts to a slap on the NULGE leadership in the council if any position is conceded to the opposition.
“That can never happen because it will be a big slap on the leadership of the union who has been the one deciding the composition of NULGE executives from time”, one of the candidates on the side of Mabodu stated.
He added that, “Odunayo became a member of NULGE executives the second year he joined the service because those in control wanted him there. He went on to emerge as their candidate for two terms as Secretary after serving as a representative.
“Why should he now query their decision this time around ?”, he asked rhetorically.
Another member of the team authoritatively state that Mabodu team will win with wide margin because of the outgoing chairman’s laudable achievements.
A member of the Odunayo group, who spoke with our reporter, stated that it was unfair on the part of the union leaders not to consider Okusanya and Odunayo for the positions they are presently occupying in their arrangement.
“I think that we could have saved ourselves all these troubles if the leadership has factored Okusanya and Odunayo into their executive committee or carry them along in their decision to drop thwm”, he stated.
She also frowned at what she described as campaign of calumny against the chairmanship candidate of her group.
A staff of the council who claimed that NULGE has a tradition of electing its officers also stated that the election will be peaceful with landslide victory for the popular team. Though, he did not mention which of the team.
THE IMPACT, during a visit to the council Secretariat, saw the two candidates and their team campaigning from one office to the other canvassing staff members to support their election.
Meanwhile, sources revealed that both groups have pledged peaceful conducts during the election on Thursday.
Comrade Mabodu in her election manifesto, presented a three point agenda which are training for staff members at all levels; staff members’ welfare such as improved working conditions, staff members’ motivation, resuscitation of the dysfunctional staff bus, total overhaul of staff toilets and assurance of bonuses during every festival as well as synergy between management and staff members to improve on the Internally General Revenue (IGR).
She listed her achievements in the outgoing administration which include the laying of the NULGE house foundation , provision of financial assistance to staff members , provision of ceiling fans at Sabo and Agura offices, provision of chairs and stationeries at Agura office, renovation of NULGE office, conducting free eyes test for staff members and facilitating medical assistance for staff members and provision of benches for nursing mothers at Agura Primary Health Centre (PHC) among others.
In his own manifesto, Comrade Odunayo promised to ensure good working relationship between the management and staff members, facilitate a better working environment for staff members and ensure prompt provision of working tools where and when necessary and also to facilitate regular training for both senior and junior staff members .
He also pledged to facilitate prompt welfare package delivery, facilitate payment of 5% of the revenue generated as motivation for Revenue staff members as well as delivery of quality and effective representation in all matters that affect staff members .
Comrade Gbenga Okusanya, while speaking with THE IMPACT , simply stated that, “There is nothing much to it. We are all going to the field as family members and not as combatant enemies”.
Meanwhile, attempt by our reporter to speak with the two chairmanship candidates proved abortive as they were engaging in rigorous campaigns.